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Québec’s Science Fairs: A History

Québec’s first bilingual Science Fair was held in the Richelieu Valley, in McMasterville, in 1960. Eleven schools (three anglophone and eight francophone) were represented. In 1961, the first Science Fair in the Greater Montréal Area was held in the Hall d’honneur of Université de Montréal. Soon afterward, local Science Fairs began springing up at schools across Québec, along with regional finals, including the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean final in 1965.

 

In the late 1960s, due primarily to the educational reforms that marked the end of the classical colleges and the birth of the CÉGEP system, participation in Science Fairs underwent a slight decline. They were given a fresh start in 1972 by the Conseil de la jeunesse scientifique (CJS), which took charge of co-ordinating and supporting various regional finals throughout Québec. Regional finals then appeared or were re-established in the Québec City, Chaudière-Appalaches, Montérégie, Estrie, Est du Québec and Abitibi-Témiscamingue regions. It was also around this time, in 1976, that the first Québec Final of the Science Fairs was held.

 

In the 1980s, the CJS changed its name to the Conseil de développement du loisir scientifique (CDLS). Over time, the CDLS, along with the regional Conseils du loisir scientifique (CLS), which form the CDLS-CLS network, picked up the torch and created the organizational structure of the Science Fairs as it exists today. Around that time, regional finals also came into being in the Mauricie, Centre-du-Québec, Outaouais and Côte-Nord regions, along with the Montréal Regional Science and Technology Fair, which features the best projects by English-speaking students in the Greater Montréal region. Since 2001 that final has been organized by the Educational Alliance for Science and Technology (EAST).

 

Private partners and donors of increasingly large awards, including Bell and Merck, came on board in the late 1980s. This provided additional credibility and the extra funds needed to develop even better-structured events.

 

In an effort to position itself as a key promoter of science and technology education in Québec, the Réseau CDLS-CLS changed its name to Réseau Technoscience on September 1st 2016

 

Today, more than 15,000 young people take part each year in a local or regional final or in the Québec Final of the Science Fair.

A program of
Réseau Technoscience
Premier partner
Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche, de la Science et de la Technologie
Hydro-Québec