One common STEM Fair mistake is underestimating the amount of time you will need to complete the experiment and fulfill the necessary requirements. It is imperative that you recruit a qualified adult to assist you with the development of a realistic timeline.
Keep in mind you have only 168 hours in a week. Of that 168 hours you spend between 145-155 hours a week sleeping, eating, going to school, completing schoolwork, participating in additional activities as well as transportation to any practices and events. You must ask yourself how much time must you commit to your experiment and can you realistically devote that many hours a week and achieve your goals while not sacrificing other obligations?
TIPS: Here are some quick tips for planning your STEM Fair Project.
a. You don't have to wait to begin experimenting.
You can start a STEM Fair Project at any time. There is no rule that prohibits you from learning at anytime so you do not have to wait for the announcement of a STEM Fair Event to conduct a STEM experiment and prepare for a STEM Fair. In fact, we highly recommend you begin work on your STEM experiment as soon as possible. By doing so, it will offer you a head start on recruiting an adult to assist you before they are bombarded with numerous requests. Additionally, you will have plenty of time to gather and analyze data before you are inundated with schoolwork and extra-curricular activities.
b. Become acquainted with STEM Fairs.
Try to review the requirements of previous STEM Fairs to assist and guide you for your current project. Very often organizations that host STEM Fairs will maintain their requirements for subsequent years. Do your research and learn those requirements and apply those guidelines to your current project.
c. A little reconnaissance goes a long way.
Research the winners of previous STEM Fairs and take notice of common elements among those who won. What do you think helped them win? Review their project and in some cases you can review the Judges Rubric for scoring.
d. Begin with the end in mind.
Beginning with the end in mind teaches forethought and learning to work backwards from a goal teaches you how to break intermediate goals down into workable tasks. If a STEM Fair is in approximately six months – look at the calendar and take notice of all the events that occur within that time frame. Make sure to account for vacations, holidays, family events, extra-curricular activities, and possible sick days.
God Bless and STEM on!
Tonight's Homework & Materials List:
Calendar, Composition Book, Pen
Working with your mentor create a timeline for a mock STEM Fair Experiment. Begin scheduling your STEM Fair Checklist on the calendar. Make sure to account for holidays, events, sick days, vacations and extracurricular activities.