/ - Science Fair Foundation British Columbia

2020 Virtual Science Fair

April | 2020

Over the last few weeks, the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted everyone in our community in a multitude of ways.

With regards to Science Fairs, the cancellation of the Canada-Wide, Regional, and School Science Fairs mean that many students who worked on their projects alone or with a partner for anywhere between 2 weeks to 11 months, no longer have a venue to share their findings with peers, experts, and the wider community. This Virtual Science Fair strives to facilitate this connection of like-minded individuals and their ideas, to help support the students in our community.

Science Fair Projects often require an extraordinary amount of individual focus and research into the topic of interest. The independent thinking and research skills that students gain through this exercise is invaluable to all disciplines. Nurturing the students’ curiosity and research skills is a key component of what makes Science Fairs unique and impactful in students' learning and development.

Ever since the cancellation announcements went out a few weeks ago, our Regional Science Fair volunteer committees across BC have received many emails from students, parents, and teachers inquiring whether there could be a Virtual Fair in lieu of the cancelled Regional Fairs.

Sports tournaments, orchestra/band concerts, and drama performances have all been cancelled and unfortunately cannot be held virtually.

However, we believe that Science Fairs can.

This is how it will work:

  • Students are invited to submit their project summary/report/multimedia/support material to the VSF via a Registration Form (to be released in the next 2-3 weeks)
  • The VSF will review all applications and arrange for each project to receive mentor interviews via video conference (teleconference option available)
  • Mentors will provide project feedback to the students through the VSF
  • Door prizes, webinars, and live events to be announced
  • Competitive awards may be offered to Senior (Grades 11-12) students

End of April - Student registration opens
May 31 - Student registration closes
Between June 5-7 - Mentors' virtual briefing on how to conduct project interviews (1 hr)
June 8-12 - Students' project interviews with Mentors (10-15 min each)
Week of June 15 - Virtual closing ceremonies & prize giveaways
By June 19 - Written feedback from Mentors are provided to Students; projects are released for public viewing

Mentors, kindly sign up here.

The Student registration portal is coming soon!

FAQ:

  1. Which grade levels do you accept?   Grade 4 - 12. 
  2. What is the cost of this event?   This event is FREE!! We are not charging any fees for this event. 
  3. Which locations/regions do you accept projects from?  Students from BC and the Yukon are encouraged to participate. While we could accept students from other regions, students from BC and the Yukon will take priority in terms of receiving Project Interviews, if we do not have enough mentors for all students. 
  4. Which locations/regions do you accept mentors from?   Mentors can participate from any physical location. Due to the nature of this being a Virtual event for minors, we require all mentors to provide their work/professional email. We reserve the right to remove mentors who we cannot verify. 
  5. As a potential mentor, what if I do not or no longer have a work/professional email? We welcome mentors who are university students with mentorship experience; graduate students; retired teachers; and retired professionals with mentorship experience. Current students at post-secondary institutions can use their school email for verification, and we ask that retired teachers/professionals please provide their previous position and employer name.
  6. How will Projects be assigned?  Mentors will receive project assignments based on their area(s) of expertise, with instruction on how to access the submitted reference material for the project ahead of the Project Interview Sessions.
  7. How will the Project Interview Sessions be conducted?   Students and Mentors will be provided video/tele-conferencing links/numbers and a specific timeslot for the Project Interview. Mentors will interview the student in pairs. We are working out which platform to use to host these Project Interviews - if your organization can help us host the meetings, please let us know at jzhang[at]sciencefairs.ca.
  8. How can I / my organization help with this initiative?   Help us spread the word about this event so we can connect more students with more mentors! If you are able to donate prizes or funds so we can purchase more prizes for the students, please let us know. 

If you have any questions about the Virtual Science Fair, please email Jessica at jzhang[at]sciencefairs.ca.