Science and Technology Fair

Banner - ScienceThe AHE Science & Technology Fair has been one of the key annual events on the AHE calendar for over 10 years, held at the end of Term 1.

What is a Science and Technology Fair?

Thousands of students around New Zealand enter Science Fairs and find it a great way to learn how to do science and to communicate and present it others. Students bring along pre-prepared Science and Technology projects for display and discussion with others. It is also an opportunity to recognise students who are good at science. Home-educators needn’t miss out!

How does the AHE Science and Technology Fair work?

Since 2006 AHE has been running a Science and Technology Fair for home-schooled children. We try and run our fair like the regional fairs for schools. However, being home-schoolers, we encourage children of all ages – little ones to teenagers – to enter. Any child is encouraged to have fun with science and show us what they’ve discovered!

Children enter a project of their choosing, usually using a display board (found at Stationery Stores). They submit their project and talk with judges about their work. Judges read their board.  The next day all the projects are on display for the community to see and experience. Winners are announced and all entrants receive a Participation Certificate, and prizes are given out.

How long does it take to do a Science Fair project?

Usually students spend Term 1 working on their project, setting up experiments and researching, ready to present results and their findings for the Fair which is held at the end of Term 1. Allow a few months, especially if you are doing an experimental type project.

What kind of projects can students enter?

Being home-schoolers there is flexibility to run with a variety of ideas that reflect children’s interest and ideas. 

Experimental Project
Do an experiment to prove or disprove an idea.
For example – What Conditions Cause Iron To Rust?
Do experiments with iron objects under different conditions and measure the amount of rust on each object.
For guidance on how to do an  EXPERIMENTAL PROJECT, click here…

Technology Project
Invent something new that solves a problem.
For example – Hamish Andrews (15 at the time) did a project showing a product designed to allow a person, including elderly people, to turn the shower water flow on and off from the shower head, which is useful when the tap is hard to turn or out of easy reach.  He did this by designing a very simple on-off valve that is operated with a single push.

General Science Project
This is a broad category that may include a variety of science topics:

    Observe something in nature and analyse it. Write about your observations and research. For example – the migration of birds.
    You might do a display with pictures of different species of birds and maps of the world with migration pathways and you might go to Miranda and photograph some of the birds and write about your experiences.  That is not an experiment – it is a project on a science topic.
    Show us how something works – lift a book with a balloon, use levers & pulleys, explode something (outside). Explain how something works – why is wool warm? How does Google Maps give directions…? Or show us something groovy with numbers!
    Learn all you can about an area of interest to you – dinosaurs, dolphins or daisies! Or a famous person or event in science. Research your topic and present your finding to us.
    Create a portfolio of photographs that show a scientific process.

Unsure about a topic?

We can help!  Click here for some guidance….

Can I talk to anyone to ask questions or get advice?

Yes! Come along to the Science Fair Workshop for guidance on how to do a project.  The Workshop focusses on the Experimental Project (which is what the NIWA Science Fair is mainly about). Or email questions to

Can home-schoolers enter regional competitions?

Yes! Experimental projects or technology projects by students in Years 7-13 may be selected to represent AHE at the NIWA Auckland City Science & Technology Fair. This event celebrates excellence in scientific and technological investigation carried out by students in Auckland. It’s usually held in late August/early September. We’re proud of the many prize winners who’ve represented AHE at the NIWA Science & Technology Fair… there are a lot of schools out there and competition is tough!