A Successful Science Debut

This term, Upper El hosted their first ever Science Fair and it was a great success. Starting at the end of May, students worked their way through the Scientific Method stages culminating with a presentation in the Prospect Community Centre on 13th June.

Question

The first step was for students to come up with a testable question that they would like to investigate. They were encouraged to think of something ‘relatable’ with a connection to their real lives.

Questions included

Is the 5 second rule a myth?

Is Pepsi or Coke worse for your teeth?

And ‘Is it easier to focus in a quiet classroom?’

Hypothesis

After carrying out some preliminary research, the budding scientists were asked to form a hypothesis. A hypothesis is an educated guess using existing knowledge, similar to a prediction: If I do this…then this will happen because….

Materials & Procedure

The students next set to work writing out the steps that they would need to carry out for a successful experiment and gathered all of the materials. From Borax detergent to make magnetic slime, to hydrogen peroxide and balloons for elephant toothpaste – shopping lists were written, and plans were made.

Experiment

The next step was for the budding scientists to carry out their investigations. Creativity, flexibility and problem solving were often the order of the day. Plans needed to be adapted and procedures tweaked as the experiments were underway. Grade 5 and 6 students considered the independent and dependent variables along with a control to compare results to.

Observations

Throughout the week of science investigations, the classroom was awash with stop watches, petri dishes, bacteria and magnifying glasses!

Sometimes the results were surprising – such as when students worked better in a louder environment. Sometimes the results were in line with hypothesis – such as when the most bacteria grew on the bread which had been on the floor for the longest amount of time.

Analysis and Conclusions

As we neared the end of the project, students created data displays including bar charts and line graphs. Hypotheses were revisited and students began to consider what they could conclude from their experimentation.

Apparently, dogs DO perform tricks better with classical music!! And Coke is worse for your teeth than Pepsi.

Presentations

In the last few days, the students busily prepared eye-catching tri-fold displays of their projects in anticipation of the final presentation of our first ever Science Fair.

Two judges from outside of the school along with our own Ms Zoe C probed our scientists and found out all about their projects. The Rock Dog stand drew quite the crowd, with the compelling video evidence proving popular with the visitors.

The judges commented on how articulate our MBTS students were and how convincingly they talked about their projects.

The final winners were:

First place: Alexi – ‘Background Noise’

Second place: Amelie and Chloe – ‘Tooth Rot Soda’

Joint Third place: Riley and Zara ‘Growing Bacteria’ and Gia and Persey ‘Rock Dog’.

We look forward to making the Upper El Science Fair and annual event!

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