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About Us

The Chester Science Fair was started over 35 years ago, in 1980 by a group of parents who worked at Bell Labs.  Through the years the Fair has been affiliated with The Chester Optimist Club, the PTO and the school district.  Many of the folks who started the Fair still come back to judge, and some of their grandchildren have participated in the Fair.

The Fair has become a cooperative project of a committee of parent volunteers and the Chester School District, with a staff liaison appointed by the Board of Education.  The planning committee begins monthly committee meetings in November.  The key to the success of Fair Day is the amount of quality control that takes place behind the scenes. The Fair's website and web-based registration process is the best thing to happen to the Fair.  A local parent and business owner hosts the website and programs our site for us.  Everything is web-based: from project registration to table assignment to  project assignment with judges to the scoring process.  We work hard to improve the site every year and make sure it is kept up-to-date with information.

Over 400 students generally participate on Fair Day. These 400 kids come with parents, sometimes grandparents, usually younger siblings; about 75 judges come in for the day, exhibitors bring in their displays and helpers, and a large contingent of other volunteers run the Food Booth.   Staff members come in for the day to help with crowd control. Many teachers also come in and view their students’ projects. We have other groups from Chester and beyond set up tables around the school that day to advertise their events.  This is one of the largest events in Chester, perhaps the largest, and certainly one that draws a very diverse group of people - it's an exciting day!

We are also dependent upon our outside sponsors to produce the Fair.  We are fortunate to have many businesses who support the Fair each year; many of them also send us judges and several also sponsor Special Awards.  We also have companies who sponsor exhibits and demonstrations throughout the day.

Many of the judges have been returning year after year; some have been involved for more than 20 years.  The background of our judges ranges from a high school science teacher, science writers, chemists, pharmacists, engineers, toxicologists, microbiologists, physicists and geologists.  We also ask high school students who themselves successfully participated in the Fair to come back and judge for us.  
The judges undergo a fairly intense orientation and training prior to the Fair.  We stress that the Fair is a community event centered around science and learning about the scientific process; it is not a rigorous competition even though we reward the excellent projects and encourage high standards.  
 
The Science Fair is the perfect forum to integrate several curricular subjects and provide students the opportunity to present their work to a wide audience.  It allows students to apply their science, math, and communications work in an advanced forum, investigating a subject of their choice in a deeper way than can be accomplished in the school day.  It allows students to really delve into something that interests them and to apply the scientific method, math, and presentation skills.  Beyond the science and math, students learn time management and presentation skills.  Those who choose to work together learn to cooperate on a project.  In addition, we have high quality exhibits and shows during the day of the Fair – from animal shows and ‘mad scientists’ to science games and a STEM challenges.  It’s a full day of activities, learning and fun.