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Exceptional Event

The Science Fair

It's that time of year again when poster boards proudly display the answers to countless whys: Why do batteries emit electricity? Why does cigarette smoke damage human lungs? Why must we do a science fair project?

To the sounds of cringing parents, the yawns of exhausted students who started their project the night before the fair, and the sighs of teachers who have to grade them, science fairs can be a nightmare. But Christopher M. Gould, the former chair of the California State Science Fair, says it doesn't have to be that way.

"I believe that the best way to encourage student accomplishment is to recognize it, and recognize it publicly," Gould said. "This obviously works for school sports, as a glance at the local sports page reveals. Academic accomplishment isn't as entertaining as sports, so it has a harder time developing recognition outside of a small circle of friends."

"Kids are always asking questions," added Gould. "Science fair projects are just longer answers to some of those questions."

To read more of what Christopher Gould had to say -- including his tips for great science fairs -- see the Education World article How to Put on a Great Science Fair.