A school should only be expected to do so much pushing to engage students and parents in optional activities outside of the school day. If the numbers are dropping from 300 to 50 science projects, it is hard to argue with trying something else and focusing the resources on something that might have a better shot at accomplishing the goal: getting more youngsters engaged in science.
There’s always been doubt about how much scientific method kids really absorbed from making a baking soda volcano. There are also doubts about how much kid and how much parent effort went into some of those projects.
Like the district picnic, if there is low participation for the central event, maybe doing something in the local school is better. Maybe a hands-on, guided event at school with parents or peers will lead to more real learning?
Geometry meets snowflakes and figuring out how to build a snowflake sounds more engaging than a poster board presentation on how plants turn sunlight into food.