Why AR Fair
There is a virtual learning gap on the horizon that must be addressed for our students to succeed. Over the last eight months alone, educators have struggled to find a balance between providing immersive learning experiences with effective technology that functions seamlessly with applications like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. This challenge is carrying over to the administration of science fairs, which have historically proven to be one of the most important activities that future innovators participate in.
Success Through Technology Education (STTE) Foundation and community partners are excited to announce the first of its kind Augmented Reality (AR) Science Fair sponsored by Microsoft & El Paso Electric.
AR Science Fair will introduce students to new technologies, support Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) learning, and showcase innovative ed-tech solutions to challenges raised by the global pandemic. By electrolyzing the science fair process, AR Science Fair will allow students to submit projects electronically (ARSciencefair.com) and showcase a new wave of tech innovations with the ability to extend projects remotely, thus helping students assess the real-time implications of their solutions.
“This year, when COVID-19 hit, we were inspired to develop an innovative program for science fairs. Traditional science fairs have seen little programmatic changes over the years and COVID-19 has stalled the ability to congregate and have expos. This created a problem that needed to be solved, and that is where augmented reality is helping us inspire and excite students while providing a platform to participate in a fully remote science fair,” said Joseph Sapien, STTE Executive Director.
Assemblr (https://assemblrworld.com/) will provide teacher and student technical training on how to develop projects in augmented reality. After students populate their scientific methods and data in our custom-built web application, they are then required to provide a deep link to their AR environments. After submissions, their projects will be displayed via our “SayWhat” cross-platform app to allow judges to see projects remotely. By the completion of the program, STTE will publish an interactive science fair book that will encourage parents and students to scan and witness the best science fair projects in AR.
With the right distribution channels and partners, science fairs can be as innovative as the innovations they are trying to produce from our students. The purposeful use of immersive technology may help efforts to increase the number of students pursuing careers in STEAM. This is critical to the future of the Borderplex economy.
AR Science Fair is now open to any middle and high school students from Texas and southwest New Mexico. Thanks to our partners, the competition is free to participants. If you are a middle or high school student, parent, teacher, or school administrator and would like more information, please contact STTE at (915) 240-5571 or email STTEfoundation@gmail.com.