Science fairs in Brazil have originated in the 1960‘s with the concern about improvement of science learning and divulgation. This was linked to world wide valorization of role of science as a tool for national development after the end of Second World War. Nowadays in Brazil this kind of initiative has the support of government policies, which allowed to create a network of national, regional and local science fairs. Since 2005 the CECIERJ Foundation, a state government agency, promotes science fairs, by the FECTI program, with the goal of engaging the participation of secondary school students. The FECTI science fair has become more popular, with an increase participation of schools, teachers and students of more and more counties of Rio de Janeiro State. Despite this, little is known about perception of participants about the FECTI. The present study attempted to evaluate how the participation in this project has influenced students and teachers. After the last FECTI, the attending teachers answered a survey and reported their perceptions about effects on students, school participation, their motivation and the impact on their teaching practice, the evaluation of some organizational aspects and in the last and optional question a description of development of research project with their students. The data has been collected by the answers of thirty-one participants, sixteen males and fifteen females, eighty-seven percent (87%) of them from public schools, about thirty-seven percent (37%) of the teachers’ total. Emerging from the answers of these teachers is the following evidence: 1) ninety percent (90%) of teachers claimed that students improved their learning; 2) ninety-seven percent (97%) answered that students developed many skills including communication, empathy, engage in collaborative work and responsibility, besides improved their self-confidence and the interest in science content; and 3) all teachers emphasized that doing research projects with their students contributed in some way to their teaching practice. The majority of respondents felt that participation experience in the FECTI shows there are another ways to teaching and learning science. These testimonials enhance the relevance of science fairs in science and technology diffusion.

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The science fairs and the science and technology diffusion
The case of the Fecti - fair of science, technology and innovation of the Rio de janeiro state

Vera Cascon   Fundação Centro de Ciências e Educação Superior a Distância do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Chrystian Carlétti   Fundação Centro de Ciências e Educação Superior a Distância do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Renata Guimarães Dümpel   Fundação Centro de Ciências e Educação Superior a Distância do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Sônia Guimarães Camanho   Fundação Centro de Ciências e Educação Superior a Distância do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Mônica Santos Dahmouche   Fundação Centro de Ciências e Educação Superior a Distância do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Science fairs in Brazil have originated in the 1960‘s with the concern about improvement of science learning and divulgation. This was linked to world wide valorization of role of science as a tool for national development after the end of Second World War. Nowadays in Brazil this kind of initiative has the support of government policies, which allowed to create a network of national, regional and local science fairs. Since 2005 the CECIERJ Foundation, a state government agency, promotes science fairs, by the FECTI program, with the goal of engaging the participation of secondary school students. The FECTI science fair has become more popular, with an increase participation of schools, teachers and students of more and more counties of Rio de Janeiro State. Despite this, little is known about perception of participants about the FECTI. The present study attempted to evaluate how the participation in this project has influenced students and teachers. After the last FECTI, the attending teachers answered a survey and reported their perceptions about effects on students, school participation, their motivation and the impact on their teaching practice, the evaluation of some organizational aspects and in the last and optional question a description of development of research project with their students. The data has been collected by the answers of thirty-one participants, sixteen males and fifteen females, eighty-seven percent (87%) of them from public schools, about thirty-seven percent (37%) of the teachers’ total. Emerging from the answers of these teachers is the following evidence: 1) ninety percent (90%) of teachers claimed that students improved their learning; 2) ninety-seven percent (97%) answered that students developed many skills including communication, empathy, engage in collaborative work and responsibility, besides improved their self-confidence and the interest in science content; and 3) all teachers emphasized that doing research projects with their students contributed in some way to their teaching practice. The majority of respondents felt that participation experience in the FECTI shows there are another ways to teaching and learning science. These testimonials enhance the relevance of science fairs in science and technology diffusion.

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