On Thursday, May 14 and Friday, May 15, five fifth grade classrooms were transformed as over 100 students presented their science fair projects to visiting parents, students, teachers and visitors. This event was the culmination of a unit about the scientific method, variables and experimentation. After a number of shared experiences in the classroom, each student identified a question of interest that would lead their scientific inquiry. These questions drove an experiment, which each student presented at the fifth-grade science fair.
The science projects were far-reaching and varied. Some students investigated questions about their pets, while others were interested in flight. Some wanted to know more about food, and some fifth graders even had human subjects! Varnika, a fifth-grader who wanted to know how different washing detergents would fade the color of jeans said, “I wanted to find the mystery behind keeping your jeans looking new. A lot of people want their clothes to look good and stay new, so I thought this would be a good question to investigate.”
Jesse was inspired by his pet bird Papico. After noticing his bird’s reactions to different sounds at home, Jesse designed a controlled experiment to learn more about his pet and find out which sounds she would react to the most. “I liked my experiment because I learned more about my bird and it can help me take better care of her,” Jesse said.
Throughout the experience, students learned important scientific concepts and presentation skills that will help them move forward in their science careers. As they move on to middle school, the fifth-grade students are sure to remember this as one of their most memorable learning experiences in elementary school. (Matt Kish, ES Teacher)