Faith Fair project

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This illustration is taken from Janice Van Cleve's Guide to the Best Science Fair Projects, John Wiley & Sons, 1997. Please visit the web site that accompanies it (

A “Faith fair” is a lot like a science fair: it’s an attempt to share what you’ve learned and are learning on pertinent topics. In this case, I’d like you to focus on your contextual education site, or some other specific congregation. Choose some part of your site’s educational program (remembering Harris’ comment that a church doesn’t ‘have’ an educational program it ‘is’ an educational program), and use it as the centerpiece of your exhibit. You should find a way to highlight what is excellent about this opportunity for teaching/ learning, and also point out at least one growing edge. Keep in mind that when you’ve finished this assignment, it could be a nice gift to give back to your site. In any case, assume that it will have a public venue of some sort.

An example: perhaps you’ve chosen your church’s small group ministry. Your exhibit might describe that ministry, highlight some particularly good aspects of it (using Vella’s or Boys’ principles as criteria for this excellence is especially welcomed), and include photos of people involved with it, contact information, etc. etc. You might point to a growing edge such as the need to help the ministry move from community-building to mission and outreach.

Another example: perhaps your church is particularly good at supporting parents in their efforts to nurture their child’s faith at home. Your exhibit might explain how your community goes about doing this, and provide rich examples and interactive exercises showcasing this kind of family ministry. The growing edge might be a pragmatic suggestion aimed at helping this family ministry support media literacy.

Your exhibit should utilize a three-fold cardboard base (available via many office supply and arts/crafts stores), and include some form of interactivity. There are many sites on the Net that help kids work on science fair exhibits. You might visit them for ideas on your Faith Fair exhibit (eg.,, and so on).

Your exhibit should include a short paper (3-5 pages) that presents your case for the excellence of the learning/teaching program or event that you are sharing. This paper should make reference to materials we’ve covered during the course.


16 March 2002