Last month, the Children’s Science Center’s Youth Advisory Board (YAB) hosted its first Virtual Science Fair for elementary and middle school students. The YAB members passionately believe that science fairs are an essential stepping stone to STEM understanding.
As an alternative to in-person fairs this year, students had the opportunity to present their projects and receive feedback from Youth Advisory Board members. During the two 45-minute sessions, students shared their innovative ideas within breakout groups. The participants were 2nd to 8th graders from five different schools throughout Northern Virginia and projects varied over different STEM fields.
The Youth Advisory Board’s Virtual Science Fair helped students to grow their presentation skills and STEM knowledge while sharing research methods with fellow presenters. Students also viewed and learned from other projects, perhaps leading to new career interests and interdisciplinary topics. The commonality in the projects was the identification of a real-world problem and the development of an idea to learn more and find a solution.
In his presentation on DNA & Hydrogen Bonds, 2nd grader Dylan demonstrated his in-depth knowledge of high school level biology. His mastery and passion for the subject was inspiring to the audience. By delivering a presentation on his project, Dylan was able to learn how to display and convey information effectively to others.
YAB member, Gitika, summed up the day when she said “The 2020-2021 Virtual Science Fair was a huge success in all aspects. Although the event converted from in-person into virtual, the Children’s Science Center Youth Advisory Board (YAB) was able to adapt and the student scientists were still able to share their intellectual discoveries/inventions with their peers and the YAB members."
The Children’s Science Center’s Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is made up of Northern Virginia high school students who contribute to the Children's Science Center's goal of inspiring a love of STEM. Their mission is to forward the Children’s Science Center's mission and vision through high school student volunteerism, leadership, and collaboration.