Teacher Tools Science Fair Information Night
Science Fair Information Night
The key to science fair success is making sure the parents of your students are excited, informed, and ready to encourage their children. This dynamic and informative PowerPoint® presentation will set the parents, the students, and you up for a successful science fair. Parents will be informed and the doors to communication will be opened so they are involved from the very beginning.
Appropriate for any grade level.
The Science Fair Information Night tool is an excellent way to get parents excited about helping their children through the science fair process. By downloading the PowerPoint presentation from the Resources box below, you can give the parents a positive and informative picture of how the science fair project process will go. Features of the PowerPoint include:
- Definition of a science fair
- Potential benefits for their children, such as scholarships, higher-level fairs, and careers
- Explanations about their role and the roles of the teacher and students through the progression of the projects
- Basic steps of the scientific method
The Science Fair Information Night Outline is a Word document handout for the parents, available for download below. This will save toner, since you will not have to print out the vivid PowerPoint for each parent, but can give them an outline that will still provide them with all the essential information from the PowerPoint.
Step 1: Set up a Science Fair Information Night at your school during Step 4 of the "Tips: Guiding Student Assignments" in the Teacher's Guide to Science Projects.
Step 2: After arrangements are made, send home a slip with your students, asking parents to let you know whether or not they will be attending.
Step 3: Prepare your materials for the Information Night in advance.
- Be sure to read through the PowerPoint slides and the notes below each slide at least a few days before the presentation.
- Insert your name onto the cover slide of the PowerPoint and onto the first page of the outline.
- Customize the slides to fit your school's science fair process, add quotes from past participants and/or teachers, and make notes for yourself, such as important goals and dates that you want to emphasize.
- There are mentions of the Teacher's Guide to Science Projects materials within the PowerPoint that you might be handing out to the parents at a later date. Make sure you have those materials and add any additional ones so you are giving parents complete and accurate information about what to expect from you.
- Consider including frequently asked questions.
- Don't forget to incorporate any changes that you made in the PowerPoint into the Science Fair Information Night Outline, such as if you changed slide content or deleted slides.
Step 4: Make copies of the Science Fair Information Night Outline to hand out to the parents as they arrive so they can take notes as you go through the PowerPoint. For those parents who cannot attend, you can send copies of the outline home with their children.
Below are a few tips for presenting.
- Pace yourself. Speak slowly and clearly—don't rush through the slides.
- Let your excitement show and emphasize the students' excitement about the upcoming fair.
- Be sure to allow time for questions after each slide, or group of slides.
- Make sure you address each parent's concern, as this is a big undertaking and you want them to know they are supported by you and will not be expected to do everything at home themselves.
- Emphasize the importance of communication. Let them know they can come to you at any time with questions about their children's projects or any of the materials they will receive from you to guide them through the science fair project process.
- If you plan on implementing any of the other Science Project Enrichment Tools on our website, explain those to the parents so they feel well-supported and know their children will be getting the most out of this science fair process.
Use the following resources for this Science Project Enrichment Tool:
- Parents will leave feeling motivated, at ease, informed, and excited.
- Students will have a stronger support system at home with parents who know what is expected of them and of their children.
- The teacher will be more confident that everyone is on the same page and that the doors for communication have been opened.