1. U.S. Elementary Education : What Parents Need to Know
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U.S. Elementary education - what parents need to be aware of

Discussion in 'General Discussions - USA & Canada' started by Rihana, May 12, 2015.

  1. Rihana

    Rihana Finest Post Winner

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    General suggestion for parents of 4th or 5th graders and older.

    You might have read about reputed science fairs such Intel ISEF (now Regeneron?). The names of the state finalists and national qualifiers always have many Indian names.

    The entry to these fairs is through feeder fairs or affiliated fairs which take place at the county level. The affiliated fairs use judges who are volunteers. Anyone can volunteer. Often needs a bachelor's degree and some knowledge of the category being judged.

    Volunteering as a judge is a good way to get to know the internals of the science fair process, judging criteria, how to find mentors, what are the latest topics, and above all, to meet smart and eager young kids. Talking with these kids is so uplifting and you wish you could give one first place. You leave feeling reassured that our future is in good hands after all. : )

    If you can spare one full day in spring, then, register to volunteer as a judge. Usually lunch is provided. You are grouped with 3-5 other judges and are assigned a category (biology, chemistry, earth sciences, psychology.. and so many more fascinating ones). All in the group judge 10-20 entries, and tally up the votes and declare winners in that category. If it is your first year, you may want to judge the lowest grades (usually 6th-7th grade).

    The fair is open to the public only for 1-3 hours (usually) which is too short to go around and really look at the 200-300 or more entries. As a judge you can walk around during judging time and talk with the participants (they are very happy to talk about their project to an adult who is not a judge!). For most Asian parents, this would be a gold-mine of an info gathering opportunity. : ) Sometimes each entry has a flier describing the project. Take fliers from entries you'd like to discuss with your child.

    From what I've read, the Intel/Regeneron fair (science talent search) is open to 9th grade and up. Broadcom MASTERS is open to 6-8 grades. The feeder/affiliated fairs are common. Link to find affiliated fair: Student Science - Find a Fair If your area's affiliated fair does not need volunteer judges, you can volunteer in other ways.

    If you can't volunteer, then you can at least take your child to visit the fair. I personally would go around just by myself too. And keep it casual, don't let child feel you want her to participate, starting ASAP. : )

    My kids are not at all into this, but I volunteered a few years and it was always a day well spent. I got an email asking past judges to spread the word, and hence this post.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  2. sokanasanah

    sokanasanah IL Hall of Fame

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    Yes! In the parents' own words!!!
    Typo. R wanted me to inform all of you that she actually meant 'your spouse' - the one who's going to do the project that is. Apparently it's all about teamwork. Mum scouts the competition, Papa builds the project, Munni presents it at the Sci-Fair ... see? Teamwork, people. R said she'll be back later to explain the details - something about competing with China and whatnot.

    :smilingimp:
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  3. Rihana

    Rihana Finest Post Winner

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    You are close. Spouse is the one who's going to do the project. But, he shouldn't know he is doing it. He guides the child and mom who visited science fair guides dad.

    : )
     
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  4. jskls

    jskls IL Hall of Fame

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    And those kids make it to Intel science fair and obviously to IvY leagues
     
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  5. sokanasanah

    sokanasanah IL Hall of Fame

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    Tee hee. Storytime.

    In the post above, I was making fun of a real high-school student, whose father's staff did his work for him for one of the competitions mentioned. Ultra-pushy mum approached me as the friend of a friend to help with the write-up and presentation. It was obvious that the work was not his - too sophisticated a production for a seventeen-year-old - but I figured it was a teaching moment. Hoping to salvage some shred of independence (his), I took a Socratic approach, my usual, setting questions for him to research, from the answers for which more questions would follow, and so on iteratively until he had his essay. The idea was that he'd go to the event if not with an original project, then at least with a solid grasp of the context and the technology deployed. Too much work. He gave up. Never got back to me, not even with the first round of answers, except to say that he was busy with college apps. Not too busy to still compete though, in the finals. o_O:BangHead:
    The young man is a sophomore at uni now, one good thing about which is the safe distance from dragon-lady mum and pliant pop.
    :smash2:
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
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  6. sokanasanah

    sokanasanah IL Hall of Fame

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    Teen builds tokamak in basement!!!!
    Sure. Why not?
     
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  7. jskls

    jskls IL Hall of Fame

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    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  8. sokanasanah

    sokanasanah IL Hall of Fame

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