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Poland looking for alumni judges for 1st virtual science fair

Feb. 8, 2021

 

 Poland Science Fair winners from February 2020 pose with their trophies


Poland Central School District students who won awards that included trophies during the 32nd annual Poland Science Fair on March 5, 2020, pose with their trophies. This year’s 33rd annual Poland Science Fair will take place virtually, and organizers are looking for Poland alumni to volunteer as judges.


 

POLAND – Poland Central School District Science Fair organizers are looking for Poland alumni from across the globe to judge this year’s virtual science fair.

This year marks the 33rd annual Poland Central School District Science Fair, but the first one that will be virtual – meaning science fair judges can volunteer from anywhere with a computer or other device and an Internet connection.

Poland science teachers Jessica Meyer and Kevin Ford organize the science fair, and they believe it’s important to keep some normalcy for students during a time when many other events that would normally be part of students’ school year can’t occur due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“At least this is one thing we can carry on,” Meyer said. “Adapt and go with the times.”

“Instead of canceling, we wanted to continue by changing,” Ford said.

Poland students in grades 7-11 will compete in the virtual science fair by making Google Sites for their projects instead of physical displays and incorporating video into the sites instead of doing in-person presentations to judges.

Judges needed

There is a need for more judges for the virtual science fair, and organizers are looking for Poland alumni who want to volunteer – particularly alumni with a background in science, mathematics, engineering, health science, military science or previous experience with participating in the school science fair as a student.

Poland alumni interested in being judges can fill out a registration form at this link: https://www.polandcs.org/ScienceFairJudges. For any questions, please contact Meyer at jmeyer@polandcsd.org or Ford at kford@polandcsd.org.

Registration forms must be submitted by Feb. 19. Judges will receive a link to an average of 15 science fair projects and will have from Feb. 26 to March 7 to complete the judging.

Students who are the top point scorers from that portion of the science fair will advance to a virtual interview portion on March 9 and March 10. Alumni can volunteer as judges for the Google Sites portion, the interview portion or both.

“We appreciate the help,” Ford said.

‘New ground’

Science fair award winners are expected to be announced on or about March 17. Some category award winners will advance to the Utica College Regional Science Fair. Many awards and prizes will be given out like previous school year.

Anyone who is interested in donating to contribute to the prizes for science fair award winners can contact Meyer at jmeyer@polandcsd.org or Ford at kford@polandcsd.org.

This year’s virtual science fair will be different for everyone involved, the organizers said. Students won’t be able to rely as much on verbal presentation skills, but are expanding on what they learned in technology class about developing Google Sites, are doing digital presentations through videos, figuring out more as they go and have the opportunity to advance to the virtual interview portion.

The rubric for science fair judging also had to be adapted, and it keeps changing with input from the school science department and Board of Education and due to trying to align with the Utica College Regional Science Fair to make the transition smooth for students who advance to the regional event.

“It’s definitely new ground for learning in all aspects,” Meyer said.