Science Fair

Resolution Number: 

2011-02
Resolution

WHEREAS participating in science fair is currently an extra-curricular activity, and

WHEREAS school/teacher support for students having to participate in science fair is inconsistent across schools, and

WHEREAS by participating in science fair,students are developing critical thinking, problem solving and communications skills, and

WHEREAS this skills set is recognized as a key pillar of 21st Century Learning;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the PEIHSE requests that the Department of Education integrate science fair project development and student participation into the core science curriculum for grades 5- 12.

Amendments: 

Remove “Heritage” as this applies specifically to Science Fair.

Consideration

Status: 

Passed with Amendments
Saturday, April 16, 2011

Destination: 

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
English Language School Board
French Language School Board
Responses Received

Responses: 

Education and Early Childhood Development:  The aim of science education in Prince Edward Island is to develop scientific literacy.  Scientific literacy is an evolving combination of the science-related attitudes, skills, and knowledge students need to develop inquiry, problem-solving, and decision-making abilities; to become lifelong learners; and to maintain a sense of wonder about the world around them.  Many of the skills used and refined in science fairs are introduced and developed in the provincial science curriculum.  We believe that all students, as an integral component of their educational program, should experience science and the nature of science.

As new curriculum in all subject areas is developed, or current curriculum in all subject areas is renewed, we are embedding 21st centruy learning skills and themes directly into the curriculum, through the integration of project-based learning.  Through project-based learning, learners are able to conduct in-dept investigationsn of real world issues and challenges.  This type of learning engages students as they obtain a deeper knowledge of a subject area through partners.  With these skills at ahnd, I believe students will transer them and invorporate them into their science fair projects.

We appreciate the support of the PEI Home and School Federation as we renew our curriculum with the goal of ensureing that all students are scientifically literate, and have the sills to engage in inquirey, problem-solving, and decisioni-making by conductin in-dept investigations of real worls issues and challenges and, thus, highlight their knowledge/skolls through their science fair projects.

Eastern School District:  The Eastern School District recognizes the importance of 21st Century Skills and supports the developoment of critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills through various instructional and assessment approaches, including project-based learning (PBL).  21st Century Schools pilot projects are currently underway at Souris Regioinal, Souris Consolidated and Birchwood Intermediate schools.  The three schools benefit from the suppor tof a curriclulum specialist who provides guidance in PBL experiences across the curriculum.

Schools within the Eastern School District have been receiving informatin and support in adopting the instructional and assessment practices of PBL.

Curriclulum specialists of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development are collaborating to develop cross-curricular PBL tasks.

Science curricula are particularly suited to PBL and the Eastern School District supports and encourages the Department to integrate PBL within the curricula.

While the Eastern School District supports PBL in the science curricula, student achievement is determined against outcomes within a specific curriculum.  Student achievement is criterion-referenced and is not competitive by default.  As such participation in competitive activities has consistently been at the discretion of students and teachers.  Therefore, the Eastern School District will continue to support voluntary participation in competitive extra-curricular activities.

Western School Board:  The Western School Board has supported and encouraged student participation in science fairs at the school level and provincially.  Additionally, we have promoted and supported student participation in the Sanofi Aventis Bio-Talent Challenge, Annual PEI Association of Engineer Bridge Building contest, Provincial Envirothon Etc.

We recongnize the importance of 21st centruy skills that include the development of crittical thinking, problem solving and communicatin skills through curriculum delivery, the use of various instructional approaches and extracurricular activies.

Participation in activities such as science and heritage fairs, have been at the discretion of the teachers, students and schools.  We will continue to promote and support voluntary participation in these activities.