Science Fairs Go Online

Via NSTA Reports.  My own personal jury is still out on this.  Any thoughts?

In recent years, virtual science fairs that allow students to transmit their submissions electronically or create a website to display their projects have sprung up around the world. “A virtual science fair means any student, anywhere in the world can participate. All you need is an internet connection,” says Maggie Johnson, director of education for Google, Inc., and a judge for the Google Science Fair, the world’s largest online science fair, open to students ages 13–18.

“Talent is universal; opportunity is not. By moving the science fair online, we level the playing field so all talented young scientists around the world can be involved,” contends Johnson. “Last year, for example, we received entries from more than 90 countries.”

Virtual fairs offer other benefits. “Since students are working in an online environment, they have access to a multitude of scientific articles, publications, newsletters, reports, and live broadcasts that depict the many facets of a particular science project of interest…They develop online search skills and [learn] where and how to find dependable [web]sites for useful, reliable information,” maintains Bruce Furino, program director for the Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF), which involves students in grades 3–12.