Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:29 PM

My middle school is interested in hosting a science night and wonder if anyone has some ideas that aren't as involved as a full-on Science Fair.  The event might also be opened up to the elementary grades in our district.
Thanks for any suggestions,
Stephanie

Stephanie Ritter
Stephanie Ritter
90 Activity Points

Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:22 PM

Hi Stephanie,

What a fun idea! I found a couple of articles in the Learning Center that may be helpful, let me know what you think.

This article has a list of many ideas, so you may be able to only use a few of them to keep things easier:
http://learningcenter.nsta.org/resource/?id=10.2505/4/ss07_031_03_47

I also found an article about a Math and Science Night, with some activities included:
http://common.nsta.org/resource/?id=10.2505/4/sc11_048_05_58

Will this be the first time hosting a science night for you? Does anyone else have any tips or insight?
-Megan

Megan Doty
Megan Doty
3481 Activity Points

Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:25 PM

Stephanie,

I think this is a really good idea for the middle school students and the elementary students who may get to be the guests. I am in college and my Science Methods class has done many science presentations and put on a sixth grade science day. The lessons that involve some sort of hands-on activity and a little competition seem to be the ones students have enjoyed and remember the most. I would also look into getting some of the high school students to help your middle schoolers, or even if you have a college near and can ask some of the preservice teachers to get involved.

If you need any activities or lesson plan ideas, let me know! 

Hope this helps, Adrienne

Adrienne Boettger
Adrienne Boettger
20 Activity Points

Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:32 AM

In the past, a colleague and I have hosted fantastic star parties. We found that when we put students' science projects on display (or even have students "man" their post to share about their project for a while), set out computers with Starry Night or pHET simulations, provide hot chocolate and a brief running science film, we get great turnout and participation from the community. If you need help, ask for parent volunteers to help watch the technical equipment, a local astronomy organization to run the telescopes, a group of high school students to point out constellations and have a fun night that students will remember for years to come!

Debbie Morgan
Debbie Morgan
650 Activity Points

Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:54 PM

Hey Stephanie!

A science night sounds like a lot of fun! Megan has some pretty great ideas about how to keep people interested. Interactive activities are a great way to get people involved and wanting to learn more! You may also be able to find some short videos about certain topics, or some other kind of way to get people interested in the science in the area! Relating the activities to the area and the community may also help; most of the time, people like to learn about their environment, and a science night would be a perfect way to inform the general population about the area where they live and how science relates to it!

I linked a few articles I found that have pretty awesome activities that can be modified for the science night! Hope this helps!

Victoria Krauss
Victoria Krauss
1505 Activity Points

Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:48 PM

I think a Science/Math night is an absolutely wonderful idea!!!

I love that it gives the children control of their education while getting parents/guardians involved during or at the end of their learning process.
I really like the articles that you linked Victoria.

In my Science Methods class we are heavily focusing on DE's or Discrepant Events in which to get the students interested, it would be the hope that this would encourage them to go out and perform their own experiments at home to answer life's simple question of WHY? Why does this or that happen...etc?

Anna Maria DiFronzo
Anna DiFronzo
421 Activity Points

Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:59 PM

I've seen many formats at Family Nights. Many parents may be unsure how to encourage their children in science. In additions to demonstrations or presentations, you could provide parents with take-away activities that they can continue with their children at home--seeds to plant, discussion starters, observing things in your neighborhood or backyard. Small door prizes such as books, hand lenses, garden starter sets can also be motivating. It might be helpful to invite community resource such as science centers, extension agents, museums, etc. to share the opportunities that are available.

Mary B.

Mary Bigelow
Mary Bigelow
7160 Activity Points

Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:47 PM

I think that this is so accurate that there are so many times the parents/guardians would love to instill and encourage a love for science within their children but are unaware of how to do this without spending a lot of time finding ideas. I think that offering take-away activities as you suggested would be a great way for parents/guardians to continue on with science ideas at home.

Melanie McGill
Melanie McGill
1680 Activity Points

Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:30 PM

This is such a great idea. Family nights are great to encourage children and their families to share the love for science activities. It is hard to get families to continue doing activities with their children at home, so I like the idea of giving door prices like: books, seeds, and hand lenses.

Courtney Stuart
courtney stuart
1633 Activity Points

Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:48 AM

Hey there! The few science nights that I have been to hosted at a school either went with one focal point topic or had each category in stations/classrooms throughout the school. I have found that the most successful science night that I have been able to witness and participate in is one having to do with astronomy in particular. It seems as though its the best way to make sure that everyone has equal access to the resources, (the sky), every night so that you can talk weather patterns, moon phases, planets, constellations and so on, while being able to get a great outdoor meeting to look at the sky!

Just in case this idea does not work, I will link a couple more with ideas from the Learning Center below:

http://static.nsta.org/files/sc0507_30.pdf
http://static.nsta.org/files/tst1604_37.pdf

Darcey Bodziony
Darcey Bodziony
460 Activity Points

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