Regional Science and Engineering Fair Program Improvement and Innovation Plan

Relevant details and data for the Regional Science & Engineering Fair Program

Program Overview

The Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair is the countywide competition. FCPS sponsors the fair to provide 9-12 science students an opportunity to compete and interact with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) professionals serving as judges. This program is affiliated with the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).  Winners of the fair go on to compete at the State and international levels. Winners are awarded scholarships, internships, or cash awards to support science study.

All students in Honors high school science courses are required to participate, either individually or with a team, in an externally-moderated experimental/research project.   Students who complete school-based science research demonstrate all Portrait of a Graduate (POG) attributes through:

  • Research
  • Design
  • Experimentation
  • Analysis
  • Presentations to external judges

The Science and Engineering Fair program supports teachers in mentoring students. The year-long research project meets all domains of the FCPS Learning Model.

The program is in its 67th year in FCPS.  The Fair emulates the work of career scientists and produces experiences that are:

  • Challenging
  • Authentic
  • Inquiry-based

Support from Instructional Services ensures that students have met the qualifications for advancement to the Regional level.

Scope of Impact (2021-22)

8,229 students from 25 high schools participated in the 2021-22 Science and Engineering Fair.

Data Source: Enrollment data from the online science fair management software system; June 2022.

Actions and Measures

Updated for the 2022-23 school year.

Goal 1

During SY 2022-23, provide access to Independent Research experiences to more schools and centers.

Actions

  • Provide sustained collaborative support and professional learning for teams of educators in 50% or more of high schools. Through this focused collaboration, develop models to support full scale implementation.
  • Collect baseline data on high school student access and participation in Science Fair through a survey.
  • Increase schools offering the Science Research course for students.

Measures

  • Number of schools, educators and students supported
  • Number (or description) of curriculum and professional learning resources provided
  • Number of schools with School-Based Science Fairs
  • Number of students participating in Science Fair