As you all know science fairs for kids are usually associated with children and schools. However, contestants independent of their age can participate in science fairs. These fairs are also combined with competitions in mathematics or history.
Science fairs in the United States came into limelight in the early 1950s in the name of National Science Fair. The interest level amongst the people in science grew stronger day by day with the invention of the television and the atomic weapons. And what about the launch of Sputnik, which actually attracted increasing numbers of students to fairs?
The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair or the ISEF is the biggest science fair held in United States annually. It was founded in 1950 by Science Service and has been sponsored by Intel Corporation from 1997. Corporations and organizations, a lot of them offering scholarships as prizes usually sponsor these fairs. And if that's not enough then tuition grants, roughly US$3 million in scholarships, scientific equipment, and scientific trips are awarded annually at ISEF.
The above fair is the largest pre-college scientific event in the world. Interestingly, 1500 participants from 47 nations compete in the fair for internships, tuition grants, scholarships, scientific field trips and a grand prize of US$50,000 as college scholarship. You will be surprised to find that all the prizes tops a US$4,000,000 mark.
National science fairs like for instance the Jugend Forscht in Germany or the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in Ireland are commonly held in most of the other countries of Europe. The European Union Contest, a science fair established by the European Commission endorses ideals of cooperation and interchange between young scientists. It holds extensive media coverage as it brings into picture the best of European student scientific achievement every year.
Youth Science Foundation of Canada organizes science fairs frequently. It is because of the YSF that project-based science is accessible to young aspiring Canadian students. This foundation consists as much of 8,000 volunteers, scientists, educationists as well as parents, a system of over hundred organizations and the list goes on. YSF no doubt is helping young aspiring scientists to develop into thorough professionals.
The Canada-Wide Science Fair or the CWSF, the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, which is an annual competition held in Dublin and of course the California State Science Fair are some of the science fairs held annually.
Science fairs for kids are all that you need if your interest lies in science.