About ESIP     Books & Beyond     Classroom Connections  
Site Map

KIC: The Kids' Inquiry Conference


Saul, E.W., et al. (2005) Beyond the Science Fair: Creating a Kids' Inquiry Conference. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann

It's time to rethink the traditional science fair, with its tired tri-fold posters and first-prize ribbons. It's time to create an event where children share the results of authentic, personally meaningful explorations with one another rather than compete for adults' praise and attention. It's time for a Kids' Inquiry Conference (KIC).

For more information and ordering details, visit the Heinemann site.


The Kids' Inquiry Conference (KIC), patterned after a professional scientists' meeting, invites students to come together to share the excitement of their scientific discoveries, exchange data, evaluate evidence and ask questions. This annual event brings together students from elementary school classrooms to make presentations and share their questions and ongoing research in the format of an academic conference.

The KIC program also includes student-directed, hands-on activities and a keynote talk presented by a professional scientist or science writer.

The KIC journal, featuring articles by presenters describing their investigations, is distributed to participants and is often used by teachers to promote inquiry across the curriculum.

We hope that this concept-- young people sharing authentic science in a non-competitive and supportive atmosphere-- will be stretched and modified to suit the needs of many student-scientists and their teachers.

To learn more about this opportunity to invite your students to engage in authentic inquiry, visit the KIC website at http://www.esiponline.org/kic.

All materials featured on this site are the property of the Elementary Science Integration Projects (ESIP) and/or their respective authors, and may not be reproduced or distributed in any form, printed or electronic, without express written permission.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 9912078. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.