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A '90s Kind of Science Fair

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Where do you host a virtual science fair? The virtual gym, of course.

This fall, Washington State University's college of education is sponsoring a science and math fair on the Internet for K-12 students, complete with a virtual gym, a virtual teachers' lounge, and virtual ribbons. The fair opened for viewing last week with 129 student entries from 22 schools nationwide.

Among the participants are Debbie Lieber's 3rd-grade class at the Santa Fe Christian School in Solana Beach, Calif.. Ms. Lieber's students investigated whether some colors of M&M candies are more plentiful than others and used pie charts and bar graphs to show the results. (As many people have long suspected, brown M&Ms show up most often.)

Each Friday through Dec. 15, when the fair ends, students will "stand" at their exhibits to answer questions. Each project has an electronic message board where viewers can post comments and questions.

The university also will sponsor an on-line social-studies fair next year.

The virtual science and math fair can be reached at the college of education's World Wide Web site: http://www.educ.wsu.edu/. Information is available from fair administrator Nils Peterson at the College of Education, 236 Cleveland Hall, Washington State University, Pullman, Wash. 99164, or by e-mail: fairadm@mail.wsu.edu.

--Meg Sommerfeld

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