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Science Fair Fest

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Science Fair Fest

Broward County LIbrary

Education - Birth Thru Teens | 2021

Innovation Summary

The Science Fair Fest assists students with ideas, tips and info on their academic science fair projects. It went virtual in 2020, bringing science educators/experts together to provide project demos, conduct experiments and encourage success. The Fest won a 2020 Florida Library Association award.

Problem Statement

The student science fair can be intimidating, especially for students who face challenges with recent remote learning. Not all students have access to the expert help, advice, assistance and enrichment to help ensure science fair success. COVID-19 limited in-person opportunities for youth STEM enrichment. Libraries have these resources and, as trusted community partners, have the ability to leverage outside experts to assist these students in a free, easily accessible, online format.


Innovation

The Science Fair Fest has been held at the library since 2017, with the 2019 Fest attracting 839 participants. It went online in 2020 due to COVID-19. The challenge was translating the excitement of the live festival. To replicate the in-person energy and engage remote attendees, presenters were selected for both content and visual “wow” factor. It was presented on October 3, 2020 via Webex, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The day included four separate presentations and virtual door prizes.


Progress

The Fest had 298 families attend. It provided equal access to STEM-related experts, information and resources, helping to level the academic playing field to for local students. The Science Fair Fest 2020 received the Florida Library Association’s 2020 Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award, given to a an outstanding example of direct service to youth and defined as “being unique, distinctive, exceptional, notable, praiseworthy and exemplary.”