Is it possible to make an environmentally-friendly toothpaste? Which brand of toilet paper can absorb the largest amount of water? What causes global warming? Which soil (sand, clay or heavy soil) makes plant grow the best? These, and many other, questions are being answered by our students through their Science Fair Project in its 2019 version.
Our science fair has become a tradition in our community, where students from grades 6-10 have the opportunity to work on finding the answers to their own natural world questions using the same tools and mindset of top scientists. Inquiry, innovation, creativity, cooperation, responsibility and ethics are only some of the skills our students develop through the execution of their projects.
We know it is not always easy to stand in front of an audience to convey ideas and express emotions; however, this science fair provides an authentic scenario for our students to develop confidence, assertiveness and charisma. We do not simply expect a show-and-tell exhibition, our students have invested several months working on their projects to provide answers to meaningful questions, many with a great deal of sophistication. It is important to understand that a project of this nature involves so much more than science, which makes it an enriching learning activity and even a family project. How many times do students ask parents or siblings for help with their projects? How many times do parents/siblings get together around an academic project where everybody learns and contributes? We do not mean to pose extra work on parents or siblings, or make this a parents’ or family project. Educational research has proven that parental involvement has a significant effect on student learning and the support, guidance and coaching from parents is an important motivational factor that contributes to meaningful learnings.
Our science fair is an invitation to a build community within our school; parents and peers from other local schools are invited as judges in order to interact and learn with and from our students. At the end, the process and all what happens through it is more important than the product itself.
Images by Vy Lam