Kick Off Your Fair
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Our Story

Dear science fair coordinator,

If you have a few moments to spare, I'd like to share my science fair story with you.  Probably like you, I was coaxed into coordinating the science fair for my daughter's school. At first, it seemed like a daunting task, but it quickly became one of the most fun and rewarding things I had ever done.

At our 604-student school, participation in the science fair is optional. From the start, it was my goal to get more kids participating than ever before. To do this, I needed to make it more convenient and fun for students and parents to get information and register. That meant getting rid of the paper flyers and forms that typically get sent home, and move everything to a user-friendly website with an easy online registration form. After all, the online world is playing an ever-increasing role in all aspects of our lives, so it seemed natural to move school-related functions to the web as well.  Admittedly I was a bit nervous about this change and whether parents would be comfortable with going to the school's website to register their child for the fair.  Everybody was so accustomed to doing things the old way. But I was amazed at the response. By the end of the registration period, we had over 90% of the kids in the school working on a project for the science fair!  In previous years, we had not even come close to this level of participation.

Besides making the whole process easier and more convenient for the parents, this new system also saved me and our PTSA loads of time and money.  No more having to process hundreds of paper forms and enter the data manually into a spreadsheet.  The registrations were already in an online database, and getting a spreadsheet view was a single click away.  Not to mention that we saved money by not having to photocopy all those paper flyers and forms in the first place.  And it set a good example of a more environmentally-friendly way to run PTSA events, which many parents noticed and appreciated.  Finally, having the registrations available in an online database made it easy for me to send emails to all the participating students and parents informing them of important updates and deadlines.

I took it one step further and also allowed parents to purchase their project display boards online and pay for them by credit card (or check if they preferred). The PTSA board members were pleased with this move because we raised more money through sales of project display boards than ever before.  When purchasing boards is as simple as going online, choosing your favorite color, and entering your credit card information, parents are far more likely to buy from the PTSA.

We also made it possible for parents to upload digitals photos of their kids working on their science projects at home.  We then used these photos to put together a fun slide show with a rockin' soundtrack, and had it playing on the big screen during the science fair.  It was so popular that we decided to make DVD copies of the slide show for families to keep!

Building all of this functionality into our school's website certainly wasn't easy, but what made it worthwhile were the comments I received directly from the parents:

It was GREAT! ! My kids figured it out very fast ... it was that easy. Amazing!! Thank you so much for working on this.

It is indeed very convenient and easy!!! Thank you once again!!!

The process couldn't have been easier - very clear. I am not a computer person so when I find it easy - that is saying a lot!

I thought the online registration was great. It was easy, fast, very well thought out and it completely exceeded my expectations. I was so impressed with it, that I sent a note to our principal congratulating her and the PTSA for using the website to better serve the community and for making my life easier! Nice job!

The success of our science fair got me thinking that every school deserves the chance to improve on their science fair the way we did.  So I took the work that I did for my daughter's school, and turned it into a service available to any school that wants to use it.  And now I'm proud to be able to offer Our Science Fair completely free of charge.  There are no trial periods, no fees, no hidden costs, and no contracts.  Actually, it's better than free because your PTA/PTO/PTSA can even use this service as a fundraiser by selling project display boards, slide show DVDs, and other supplies at a marked-up price of your choosing.  Signing up takes less than 30 seconds.  Your school gets its own website which contains a customizable science fair registration page, a page for parents to order project display boards and other supplies, a photo upload page, and much more.  If, after trying it out, you decide that the service isn't quite right for your school, you can simply stop using it or cancel your account with no penalty whatsoever.

I encourage you to try this out and become the hero of your school's science fair.  If you have any questions about how Our Science Fair works, don't hesitate to call or email us.  Either way, I wish you and your school the best!

--Rajeev Goel

PS:  If your school doesn't currently hold an annual science fair, I encourage you to start one this year. For the kids, doing a science fair project means that they have the chance to explore the world of science on their own, choosing a topic that interests them and taking it in any direction they want.  It's really one of the most inspiring ways to learn.  And who knows ... maybe they'll even discover something new that's never been discovered before!  Our Science Fair takes care of all the tedious and difficult parts of running a science fair.  All you have to do is provide the gymnasium and send out the announcements!  Let us know if we can help.