The Mathematics Fair
In many regions of the country, regular (annual, semiannual, etc.) exhibitions of student mathematics projects are held. These range from schoolwide to national in scope. Some are locally sponsored; others may be sponsored by national organizations. Such information should be readily available from school administrators or local mathematics teacher organizations. The prospect of eventual exhibit at a mathematics fair could serve as additional motivation for students.
Naturally, when a student’s project involves some physical model, such as a linkage or a geometric construction, the mere exhibition may be meaningful; however, when a student’s project is a mathematical development or a study of some concept, then a presentation is necessary. Most mathematics fairs are organized to allow students to present their papers (orally) before a group of judges. In progressive stages, winners are selected, usually from each grade level entered. Community members are often attracted to such events.
The learning experience involved in the process of preparing a project or writing a paper, and then presenting or even defending it, is very valuable. Whether a student wins this fair competition is not as important as the recognition offered for his or her work.
© ______ 2006, Allyn & Bacon, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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