These ideas for encouraging visitors to attend your science fair are excerpted from Science Buddies’ “A Guide to Planning a Science Fair.” Page numbers in the text below refer to pages in the PDF, found at http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/Teacher_ScienceFairGuide.pdf
Encouraging visitors to come and view the displays is a key part of the success of a science fair. For participating students, having visitors see their projects reinforces that their work matters to a larger community. Non-participating students who come to the fair may get ideas and become inspired for a time when they may have a chance to participate. Parents who visit show their appreciation for and help motivate their students. Administrators who visit will understand the extra work that you and your team put in to make the fair happen.
Here are some ways that you can promote your fair:
To invite students and teachers who are not participating in the fair, as well as school administrators and school district officials (e.g., science fair coordinator):
* Mention the fair at teachers’ meetings starting one month before the fair.
* Send invitations via email or on paper one month before the fair (see sample text on page 12).
* Send reminders via e-mail two weeks, one week, and one day before the fair.
* Have your classes create posters for the school (more details below).
* Make sure that the date of the fair appears on the school calendar.
* Ask students to write a newsletter or website article about the fair (more details below).
To encourage parents to attend:
* Two weeks before, send parents the “Final Science Fair Participation Reminder for Parents” on page 24. Send it as a flyer or as an email.
* Include information in the PTA newsletter.
* Give students extra credit if parents attend.
* The day before the fair, remind students to bring their parents.
Ask your classes, or work with the art teacher and his or her classes, to create posters and even directional signs. Here are some signage ideas:
* Publicity posters: Decorate the school and publicize the fair before the event. Include date, time, and location.
* Event directions: Where to park, where to go for the fair.
* Science-themed murals for the walls (most appropriate for elementary schools): What about children painting different habitats? Or murals of other science themes, such as the solar system?
Newsletter or Website Articles
Have students write a school newsletter or website article that includes:
* Date, time, and location of the fair.
* Encouragement for students who are working on their projects.
* A reminder for participants’ parents to consult their guides (distributed by teachers) on how to help their children.
* Some exciting and fantastic facts, such as a sample of unique topics already chosen by students or quotes from students about what they are experiencing.