Sunday, October 25

Advantages and Disadvantages of Science Exhibitions

The world is currently being shaped by science and technology in every aspect of our lives. And there is no exception when it comes to the field of education, especially science education. Scientific education has acted as an important facilitator to enable students and people to face numerous global challenges like climate change, pollution, poverty, hunger, etc. A great way of involving bright young minds into the field of science education is through their participation in science exhibitions. So let us look at the benefits and the drawbacks of science exhibitions.

WHAT IS A SCIENCE EXHIBITION?

Science exhibition, also known as a science fair, is an event conducted by an educational institution or organization to allow students to present their respective science projects. These exhibitions could be competitive or otherwise. Their main goal is for students to employ scientific methods in their projects and answer questions based on a hypothesis (a proposed explanation as a starting point for further investigation). These projects or experiments are then judged by experts, parents, and other entrants.

Science exhibitions provide an outlet for students who have an inclination towards sciences to participate and learn more about the subject.

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ADVANTAGES OF SCIENCE EXHIBITIONS

Generates Interest

Science exhibitions are the easiest way to create interest in the minds of students in the subject of science. We live in a hyper-digital and technological world with constant free-flowing information and innovation at every step of the way. Students nowadays are curious and enthusiastic to learn beyond the traditional classroom learning. Engaging children and students to participate in science exhibitions is a great tool to steer them positively towards scientific knowledge. Teachers, school faculty, and parents all play equally important roles to help maintain the students’ enthusiasm and encourage a zeal for scientific discovery.

Creativity

The main aim of science exhibitions and fairs is for students to come up with unique projects on various topics of science. It fosters creativity by challenging students to come up with answers to unanswered hypotheses and questions of science. Students have the opportunity to think creatively and find solutions to various challenges. Science has always been about the unknown reality, a new discovery, and finding the truth of our mysterious universe. Exhibitions can help develop the spirit in a student to think outside of the box and grow holistically.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Science Exhibitions

Harbors Skill

Science exhibitions in schools and colleges are a great way to harbor social skills among children and young adults. Usually science projects for such exhibitions have students working in groups and teams. This is a great way of learning how to work in a team, expressing your views as well as respecting others’ views, and leadership and managerial skills. Additionally, science exhibitions are a great platform for honing presentational as well as speaking skills. Oftentimes, young kids are intimidated or hesitant to speak in public out of fear of ridicule. This is a great chance for them to showcase their talent and talk about their projects to remove their public speaking fears. Therefore, this helps them in developing social, moral, and communication skills.

Science exhibitions integrate many skills like critical thinking, ethics, analysis, speaking, writing, and reading into one project.

Application of Classroom Learning

Another advantage of science exhibitions is the application of classroom learning with the help of projects and science experiments. Traditional learning through lectures and textbooks helps a child grasp the basics and the theory of a subject. But to truly appreciate and understand it, putting it into practice is very important. Therefore, this is achieved by partaking in science exhibitions and fairs. Students can apply their newly learned information to find solutions to various challenges of our society in their unique ways. Our society relies on science regularly to make educated decisions for everyday problems. So, this is a great way to become more knowledgeable about the workings of the world.

Research

Science exhibitions are a great way of teaching students the actual process of research. Thinking scientifically, looking at a scientific problem, devising ways to find solutions, creating experiments, evaluating the possible results, and finally, coming up with a plausible conclusion. These research skills are usually not taught during normal classroom teaching. So, working on science projects are a great way to learn about a subject in depth. The process of researching and acquiring knowledge through experimentation is a useful skill. Hence, one can go beyond their textbooks and broaden their way of thinking.

DISADVANTAGES OF SCIENCE EXHIBITIONS

Competitive

Most of the science exhibitions are competitive and the best projects are usually promised rewards and accolades. This inevitably can result in competition between students. A little competition goes a long way to build momentum and interest among children. But, it can negatively impact students as well. For instance, there are several students who already have trouble with grasping difficult science topics. They are additionally disadvantaged by trying to figure out how to ace these science projects to be on par with their peers. Hence, this can really hamper with their confidence instead of boosting it.

Time Consuming

Another disadvantage for students taking part in science exhibitions is that it is a huge time commitment. Science projects require a certain amount of research in order to be distinct from other projects. This can come in the way of other school and university assignments that already take up most of the students’ time. Teachers and parents also have to take time out for these science exhibitions. Teachers have to assess every science project, assist them in bringing the project into fruition as well as give them feedback in case of any problems. Moreover, parents also have to help their children in displaying their respective science projects. Hence, it is a taxing obligation for everyone involved.

Induces stress

Participating in a science exhibition can be very hectic and stressful for the students. It requires a lot of work and dedication. Apart from seeing the science project through, there is also additional planning for the actual exhibition day. Preparing the presentation, coordinating with your team members, as well as finalizing the project stand design among other things needs a lot of planning and responsibility. And this is in addition to their existing school work stresses. Therefore, science exhibitions can be overwhelming with the tasks and preparations involved.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Science Exhibitions

Lacks Uniqueness

Another drawback of science exhibitions is that the projects in itself can lack uniqueness. Sometimes, the topics given to the young kids can be very complicated and cannot be realistically doable by them. So, parents resort to either doing it themselves to keep the morale of their children up or they look up existing science projects online. In other words, the purpose behind participating in these science exhibitions gets lost. So, the students miss out on the hands-on experience of executing interesting science experiments because of this.

In conclusion, there is a considerable increase in the interest in science and technology education nowadays. So, we must try to welcome the opportunities science exhibitions can open up for students while also being mindful of the stresses it could cause.

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Pros and Cons of Science Exhibitions

PROS

CONS

Generates Interest

Competitive

Creativity

Time Consuming

Harbors Skill

Induces Stress

Application of Classroom Learning

Lacks Uniqueness

Research