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I probably have a slice about this each year as the science fair is always in March. In fact, I have always set it to be the day before Spring Break. This has been done for several reasons including keeping both students' attention and attendance right up until the last day.
This year I am a bit out of whack since we still have a week to go until vacation starts. Again, this was done intentionally. I had hoped to be selected to present at a conference. The conference starts before our Spring Break begins. I run the science fair at our school so I figured I should probably ensure I was around for it. Turns out, it was good planning, but that hasn't kept me from feeling the automatic; science fair complete = vacation starts.
The morning started with judges judging and teachers grading. The students are so nervous for this part. That being said, it doesn't take them very long to realize that they are prepared. Their confidence flicks on and they shine.
We allow for a couple of periods of class visits from third and fourth grades. One team asked each student who approached their table if they knew anything about the greenhouse effect. If someone replied in the affirmative the student continued, "Could you please explain what you know?" This was all them and it was a fantastic way to engage their audience. I loved it and will use this example for years to come.
The final round of visitors is the one the students are most anxious about - their parents. Five minutes before the students needed to change from their spiffy outfits to their active wear I went through the venue announcing, "Parents, there are only five more minutes, as we need to get to P.E." (The end time had been clearly communicated to everyone previously.) While the parents reluctantly departed, my students beamed. They had made it!