Thursday, February 12, 2015

Science Fair

Last night, the elementary school hosted their second annual Science Fair. Students could participate alone or in groups - or not at all. Helen and Connor both decided to participate. Helen chose an individual project and Connor opted to work with a friend of his.

When Helen and I started preparing for the science fair several weeks ago, I asked her what she'd like to do. She said she would like to see what kind of tree grows the fastest. I told her maybe if she started now, she'd have quite a project by the time fifth grade rolled around. So she kept thinking. She likes nature, so wanted something to do with that. At some point, she remembered when we tried to make rock candy and totally failed - so she decided we should do that.

Her question - do different kinds of sugar form crystals, or just white sugar? I helped her test brown sugar, white sugar, powdered sugar, and maple syrup. For each, we added about 3 parts sugar to 1 part water. Helen recorded her observations daily, and was very excited when she started seeing crystals.

She was incredibly excited to share her display, and kept telling me how many comments she had received. She returned the comment love by writing "awesome" or "cool" on pretty much every science project she stopped to check out.

Connor and a friend folded paper airplanes to see which one flew the furthest. He was a little more low-key about the whole affair, probably because he'd spent his early release day bouncing from one set of friends to the next, and was tired by the time evening came around.

His project did present a nice opportunity to discuss measurement error and Ed was very close to discussing standard errors, but opted to hold that lesson for another day.

This whole thing was basically started by one motivated mom at Connor and Helen's school. She rocks! (And no, it is not me!!)


PS - a few students decided to do experiments involving mentos and soda, which of course reminded me of this day, and made me laugh again about the whole thing.

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