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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Bright Idea: Digital Science Fair

Barbara Tannenbaum
Managing Editor at Edutopia

If Albert Einstein had to illustrate his theories at a local science fair, he would surely have appreciated the efforts of eighth-grade science teacher Maya Garcia. At Hardy Middle School, in Washington, DC, Garcia took on the task of creating an all-digital science fair. Here is her prize-winning blueprint.

Why: The school started out with three goals: 1) Be environmentally conscious. 2) Teach students how to use computer programs. 3) Share projects globally with other students.

How: Students posted their projects online using Google Docs and received feedback from judges all over the country. They used Microsoft PowerPoint to create slide shows and learned how to embed video in their presentations. The school's science department held workshops and tutorials for any student who did not have home access to the software.

Next Steps: The faculty is already brainstorming new ways to improve the digital science fair format. Next year, they'll offer workshops on topics like slide design and video editing.

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