A Light at the Smithsonian: Notes from a Spectroscopist


Alex Scheelineby Alex Scheeline

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, on the national mall in Washington, D.C., has an especially fascinating exhibit on Thomas Edison.  The exhibit highlights the development of electricity and lighting, and, more generally, invention.  In late 2017, I visited an area that featured a set of lamps—including a low-pressure sodium vapor lamp, a mercury lamp, an incandescent lamp, and a compact fluorescent lamp.

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Science Fairs in the News


latino-professor-newspaperYou might be surprised how much news there is about the ubiquitous science fair!  We have collected a few worthy articles for you.  Some are funny, others are provocative—and they’re all worth a look.

If you come across an article of interest, please share it with us in the Comments section below.

Happy reading!

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Science Fair Discussion Starters


Discussion Starters - Educational Innovations NewsletterWhy are science fairs important?  What makes the science fair process valuable?  It’s an excellent question and a good way to start a class discussion about this time-honored tradition.  First and foremost, why DO we ask our students to work on a science fair project year after year?   The answer, in a nutshell, is to help them learn how to think like scientists.  Scientists find answers to questions that interest them.  In other words, your students simply need to ask themselves, What do I want to know more about?

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Science Fair TV


EI TV - Educational Innovations BlogWhether you’re a science teacher, a parent, or just a science buff, you probably know plenty about how rewarding—and stressful—a science fair can be.   If you’re looking for the best way to communicate with your students about the steps involved in developing a science project, we’ve got you covered.  Each of the videos below explains how to plan and execute a great science fair presentation.

Enjoy!  If you find a video on science fairs that you’d like to share with us, please leave a comment!

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All about Science Fair Judging


By Dr. Maille Lyons

Judges are the “referees” in the sport of science fair. As with most refereed sports, the losing teams will often blame the referees for failure and, in some cases that is accurate.  In other cases you just got beat.

Since there is no appeal process, no coach’s challenge, and no instant replay for review, the science fair judges’ decisions stand (and will not be explained no matter how much you beg…). SO KNOWING THAT, your project must be well executed and well communicated so that the “bad calls” are minimized.

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