Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:17 PM

How effective are Science Fair type activities for elementary aged children? Being in a Title I school, the talk of a Science Fair has never been approached but I think it can be helpful in getting scholars who are not interested in science to see how engaging, fun, and the amount of learning they can get from multiple hands-on activities that they compile themselves through investigation. 

Mallory Latimore
Mallory Latimore
275 Activity Points

Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:25 PM

This is an excellent question. In my experience, science is rarely taught at my Title I school, and is only focused on in fifth grade when its time for the fifth grade science STARR. I believe science fair activities are wonderful for elementary age students, as its sparks their creativity and curiosity. Science fairs are a fantastic way to incorporate long term inquiry based learning and deep exploration of a science topic. This type of research and discovery would do wonders for our students and change the pacing of the somewhat rigorous nature that many Title I schools seem to take on.

Lola Ogunro
Lola Ogunro
215 Activity Points

Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:36 PM

Dear Mallory,


I ran a science fair at my son's elementary school. Let me know if you want any advice.


NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has made a series of videos about choosing a science fair project topic, what to put on the display board, and more. Here's the link:


https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/learn/activities/science-fair-project/


I hope this helps!


Best wishes,

Rachel


Rachel.Zimmerman-Brachman@jpl.nasa.gov

Rachel Zimmerman Brachman
Rachel Zimmerman Brachman
2000 Activity Points

Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:19 PM

When I was in middle school we did a Culture fair, which integrated all of the core subject areas into one large project. We were in groups of 3 or 4, and each got a country to research. At the end of the unit we set up booths in the gym and the entire eighth grade got to walk around and see all the other countries involved. We also made foods that were well known from that country. It turned out to be a big hit among the students, and is something I will not ever forget.

Allison Gandrup
Allison Gandrup
3790 Activity Points

Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:53 PM

Here is a good article about STEM family nights. You may want to go in this direction
http://static.nsta.org/files/sc1701_48.pdf. My former school would have math nights where parents and students could come and try some interactive projects. This was a title school also.

Brenda Velasco
Brenda Velasco
1795 Activity Points

Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:06 PM

This article was very timely! Thanks!

Debra Bahr
Debra Bahr
125 Activity Points

Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:07 PM

I've personally never been to a science fair, maybe once, I just cannot remember. I will say that science fair does have it's perks and it just doesn't include improving ones own ability to present their work to people. A student has to really understand what they are going to present, for example, how the moon affects the ocean tides at night. Proper research is required, getting their project board ready for people to be captured by the information presented, and not making it too "plain" for people just to take a glance and walk away. Students want to properly research on whatever topic they are going to present to viewers may be informed, intrigued visually, and learn something from project presented at the fair. As I mentioned earlier, presenting in front of dozens of viewers also helps a students confidence and social skills!

Carmen Flores
Carmen Flores
450 Activity Points

Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:43 PM

Unfortunately the topic of Science is often neglected in elementary school settings. The push for science lessons at this level has been evident and will hopefully continue. As for science fairs, I strongly believe that science fairs are a great way to evaluate and assess students' comprehension and knowledge without using the formal testing. The knowledge gained throughout the year can be extended through the students' direction or the teacher can offer topics for the children to choose from. Opening up the forum for the children to pick their own science fair topics (with teacher approval) can help the push for students to be interested in science. The students will also hone in on their social skills through the presentation. The students must have an in-depth understanding of the content in order for them to present their data and findings. I believe that science fairs are underutilized at the elementary level and should be considered for summative assessments of the students' knowledge. Overall, science fairs come with some amazing benefits and can spark interest in science for children at this age.

Kevin Wahl
Kevin Wahl
765 Activity Points

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