The Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Science Fair (FLASF) is a regional science project competition that is run annually in spring in Kingston, Ontario. Named for the three original counties from which FLASF drew its student base, the regional fair has been in operation since 1970. FLASF provides an open, inclusive venue for public, separate, private and home-schooled students to report upon their investigations in scientific and engineering topics of personal interest, in a public forum. Students from Grades 5 to 12 are drawn from the schools within Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Counties, Ontario.
FLASF is a non-profit, registered charity that is run by a group of volunteers from the community to promote and encourage student activity in the sciences. It is supported by financial donations and in-kind services from local school boards, companies, educational institutions and provincial organizations. FLASF is an affiliate of Youth Science Canada. Youth Science Canada (YSC)is a national, registered charitable organization with a mission to increase awareness and involvement of youth in science, engineering and technlogy. YSC is best known for its showcase event, the annual Canada Wide Science Fair (CWSF).
The regional fair is organized into various categories, including Human Health Science, Life and Earth Sciences (non-human), Physical and Mathematical Sciences, and Engineering and Computing Sciences. In each category, students compete for prizes and awards according to their school grade level at the primary (Grades 5 and 6), junior (Grades 7 and 8), intermediate (Grades 9 and 10) and senior (Grades 11 and 12) levels. The FLASF is part of Youth Science Ontario, a provincial organization that acts as a link between the 30 regional science fairs in Ontario. From a national perspective, FLASF is one of over one hundred science fairs in Canada that are members of Youth Science Canada (YSC), an organization whose signature event is the Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF). FLASF sends its top projects each year to CWSF (up to 5 students accompanied by 2 chaperones) to compete at the national level. At CWSF, held at a different city every year, 600 students participate in a week-long celebration of their science activity and success, in a competitive format.
Many students participate in the science fair at the regional level. For students that go on to CWSF, this becomes a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But for all students, the opportunity to pursue investigations in a field of interest can be life-altering, providing direction for their future studies and perhaps a career. FLASF provides students with just such an opportunity.