/ - Science Fair Foundation British Columbia

What's a STEM Project?

Workshop #1: October 12, 2021

What is a STEM project and what can I do with it?

What’s the difference between a study, an innovation and an experiment?

What do ethics have to do with my project?

In this workshop you’ll learn some of the basics of a STEM project and the important first steps in building your own unique STEM project. This workshop is designed specifically for students in British Columbia and the Yukon who will be participating in a science fair or the Youth Innovation Showcase in 2022. Some of the things we’ll talk about are:

  • What is the Scientific Method?
  • What is a study, innovation and experiment?
  • How do I come up with an idea for my STEM project?
  • Safety and Ethics approval for science fairs

Our host, Michael Unger, will be joined by Madeleine Guenette from Science Fair Foundation BC. Both long-time science enthusiasts, they’ll lead participants through an activity to help you get your STEM project started, and talk about what else Science Fair Foundation BC has coming to help you. This is the first workshop in our series that will help get you ready for your science fair in 2022.

Download the Activity Worksheet (fillable version).
Download the Ideation Worksheet (fillable version).

Download the slide deck for workshop #1.
View the workshop recording.

Why to How: Understanding the Scientific Method

Workshop #2: November 9, 2021

What is the Scientific Method?

Why is it important?

How do I use it?

In this workshop you’ll learn how to dive into the Scientific Method – the process used by all professional researchers and the backbone of a STEM project. Proper use of the Scientific Method is a key component of judging criteria for science fair projects.

Using a real-life example, you’ll learn about the steps of the Scientific Method and how to:

  • Do background research to better understand your topic
  • Develop a hypothesis or objective for your project
  • Create a method and test your hypothesis
  • Review your results
  • Form a conclusion
  • Document your process and findings

Our host, Michael Unger, will be joined by Dr. Greg Beaulieu and Anne-Marie Simard. Dr. Greg Beaulieu is the former Head Judge of the Vancouver Island Regional Science Fair and an Associate Teaching Professor and Undergraduate Advisor in the Department of Biology at the University of Victoria. Anne-Marie Simard is a former science fair participant, a member of the Vancouver Island Regional Science Fair Committee, and a science teacher.

This is the second workshop in our series that will help get you ready for your STEM project in 2022. It is designed specifically for students in British Columbia and the Yukon who will be participating in a science fair or the Youth Innovation Showcase this season.

Want to follow along? There will be an option to complete an activity together to gain real-life experience. More information will be distributed to workshop participants soon. For now, gather your materials: 

  • Water and 4 glasses
  • A measuring cup and a teasppon
  • 4 eggs
  • Table salt, baking soda and sugar
  • Four spoons
  • Masking tape and a pen/marker

Download the Activity Worksheet (fillable version).

Download the slide deck for workshop #2.
View the workshop recording.

Understanding Ethics and Safety

Workshop #3: December 7, 2021

Why are ethics and safety important?

Do I need approval for my STEM project?

How do I get it?

In this workshop you’ll learn all about ethics and safety requirements for STEM projects. It is important to consider ethics and safety BEFORE you start a STEM project that involves humans, animals, microbes or hazardous substances.

Adhering to ethics and safety standards ensures that your project is designed to uphold the dignity, rights and welfare of research subjects, and minimize harm. You’ll learn about concepts such as informed consent, privacy and confidentiality, and risk. You’ll also learn how to assess your project for ethics and safety issues and how to provide information about your project to support an ethics review.

This is the third workshop in our series that will help get you ready for your STEM project in 2022. It is designed specifically for students in British Columbia and the Yukon who will be participating in a science fair or the Youth Innovation Showcase this season.

Download the Activity Worksheet (fillable version).
Download the Activity Worksheet with sample answers.

Download the slide deck for workshop #3.
View the workshop recording.

What Does an Awesome STEM Project Look Like?

Workshop #4: January 18, 2022

What makes a great STEM Project?

What are judges looking for when they evaluate a project?

How do I make my project stand out?

In this workshop you’ll learn how projects are evaluated in science fairs and STEM competitions, some of the different criteria used in different science fairs, and what it is about the awesome STEM projects that makes them stand out. Our host, Michael Unger, is joined by Dr. Gerry Gourlay (she/her), who is the Teaching Assistant Coordinator at the University of Victoria, actively involved in Youth STEM outreach groups, and has previously served as Chief Judge at the Vancouver Island Regional Science Fair.

This is the fourth workshop in our series that will help get you ready for your STEM project in 2022. It is designed specifically for students in British Columbia and the Yukon who will be participating in a science fair or the Youth Innovation Showcase this season.

Download the Activity Worksheet (fillable version).

Download the slide deck for workshop #4.
View the workshop recording.

Analyzing Your Results

Workshop #5: February 15, 2022

What is data analysis and why do we need it?

How do I analyze the data I collected for my STEM project?

How do I use this data to prove my hypothesis?

In this workshop you’ll learn what it means to analyze your project data, how to turn your raw data into charts and graphs, and how to use those charts and graphs to help explain your project results. Our host, Michael Unger, is joined by Anne-Marie Simard, a former science fair participant, a member of the Vancouver Island Regional Science Fair Committee, and a science teacher. Together they'll explore how data is analyzed and how to use data to explain what happened in your STEM project.

This is the fifth workshop in our series that will help get you ready for your STEM project in 2022. It is designed specifically for students in British Columbia and the Yukon who will be participating in a science fair or the Youth Innovation Showcase this season.

Download the Activity Worksheet (fillable version).
Download the Activity Worksheet with sample answers.

Download the slide deck for workshop #5.
View the workshop recording.

Communication: Reports, Presentations and Interviews

Workshop #6: March 15, 2022

How do I write a project report?

What should I talk about in my presentation?

What can I do to get ready for the interview?

In this workshop you'll learn about the different ways to communicate the results of your project to your judges, including your project report, your presentation, and the judge interview. Our host, Michael Unger, is joined by our guest speaker, Gerry Gourlay (she/her), who is the Teaching Assistant Coordinator at the University of Victoria, actively involved in Youth STEM outreach groups, and has previously served as Chief Judge at the Vancouver Island Regional Science Fair. They will look at the different parts of a report, and what judges most want to hear during your presentation and interview.

This is the sixth workshop in our series that will help get your project ready for your STEM event in 2022. It is designed specifically for students in British Columbia and the Yukon who will be participating in a science fair or the Youth Innovation Showcase this season.

Download the Activity Worksheet (fillable version).

View the workshop recording.
Download the slide deck for workshop #6.