Digital Science Fair Brings Baking Soda Volcanoes Online

Posted by Matt Berringer on April 16, 2010

Okay, so not exactly. But if you imagine a virtual version of the classic grade-school event, where students pit their homemade experiments against one another in the gymnasium and vie for a coveted blue ribbon, you've got an idea of what eighth-grade science teacher Maya Garcia accomplished. A staffer at Hardy Middle School in Washington, DC, Garcia utilized common web and desktop tools to empower her students in creating an all-digital science fair. According to writer Barbara Tannenbaum,

Students posted their projects online using Google Docs and received feedback from judges all over the country. They used Microsoft PowerPoint to create slide shows and learned how to embed video in their presentations. The school's science department held workshops and tutorials for any student who did not have home access to the software.

For their efforts, the students helped create a more environmentally-conscious incarnation of a "science fair," learned how to utilize common computer applications, and were able to get feedback on their projects from judges around the world.