Institutions across South Florida have endeavored to keep young learners’ (and their parents’) minds creative and curious during the COVID-19 crisis. To do so, the educators at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium decided to engage students’ unyielding curiosity and extra time at home with a free virtual science fair. Future scientists in kindergarten through eighth grade are invited to predict, experiment, collect data, and review results all from the comfort of their at-home laboratories.
“Our education team is always looking for ways to honor our mission to ‘open every mind to science,’” said Kate Arrizza, president and CEO of the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium. “A virtual science fair seemed like the perfect way to keep creative curiosity and critical thinking going during these stay-at-home days of learning. While kids take the lead as the project team captains, families are encouraged to work together, be safe, and have fun.”
The Virtual Science Fair will host sessions throughout the months of April and May. Participants can choose to compete in one or all of the themed weeks:
- April 20 through May 1: Backyard Science Lab
- May 4 through May 15: Slingshot Paper Airplane Launch
- May 18 through May 29: Rube Goldberg Machine
Participants will separated by grade level (kindergarten through fifth grade; sixth through eighth grades) and can win prizes for their work, like robotics and engineering kits, microscopes, and mini drones. A panel of South Florida Science Center and Aquarium educators and leadership will judge the projects and choose the winners. All participants will earn a digital participation certificate and be entered into a drawing for an admission pack to the science center.
Participation is free with donations requested. When the sessions’ projects are ready for submission, participants must include a 30-second video of their project.
For complete rules and project guidelines, visit the center’s website or follow on social media @SFScienceCenter.