About Science & Engineering Fairs

Science Fairs provide an opportunity for students to display the results of their work in science and technology. This opportunity is open to elementary, middle, and high school students. Science Fairs and other student science competitions are open to ALL students, and we encourage your participation.

What is a Science and Engineering Fair?

Science fairs are an exhibition of scientific projects prepared and presented by students under the guidance of their teachers and with the help of other persons interested in the science topic being presented.

History of Science Fairs in North Carolina

During the 1950s, state and national interest in science resulted in the initiation of science fairs. At that time, several high schools required projects of students and held local science fairs. Winners of local fairs participated in district level competition, and those winners competed in a state science fair. In addition, the top state science fair entries (two students and their teachers/advisors) attended the national competition which was held annually in one of the large cities of the country.

During the 1960s and 1970s, interest in science fairs decreased and many local and district science fairs were discontinued. Beginning in the 1980s, the participation in these events have shown increased interest in science-related activities, resulting in competition at the local, regional, and beginning again at the state level in 1987.

Why Have a Science Fair?

The total scientific process should be involved in the development of a scientific project that results in a science fair exhibition. The students should learn to recognize problems, plan an experiment, gather and analyze data, and draw conclusions. In doing this, he or she will develop self-confidence and gain respect of his or her peers. Often a science project or science fair can revitalize a science program and spark interest in a student untouched by routine class activities. In addition, the cooperative efforts of teachers, students, parents, local experts, and judges can strengthen the links between schools and community resources.

What is a Science Project?

A science project is based on observation, investigation, and scientific thinking. The best project is one which interests the investigator (student). A true science project is an investigation of a question involving research, planning, and application of scientific methods to seek an answer to the question.