1. Does my child HAVE to participate in the science fair?
No, it is optional, although teachers may ask the students to participate with the science fair by doing a piece of science writing that can be reviewed by parents on the evening of the fair. Think Literacy Night but about Science. Grades 2-5 are encouraged to participate and come up with a project that will be a part of the exhibits area in the cafeteria that same evening.
2. Will there be judging and prizes?
The goal of the science fair to give students an opportunity to begin, execute and present a topic around Science, Technology, or Engineering that they are proud of and makes them excited about learning on their own. We will recognize all participants with a certificate or ribbon, but there will be no 1st, 2nd, 3rd prize-type of reward.
3. Can my child work on a project with other students?
Sure! At Gatewood we encourage cooperative learning. The students who wish to participate as a team must fill out the participation form with that intent stated and explain what each student will be responsible for in the project. We don't want all of the responsibility to fall onto one student the goal is to work as a team. Teachers must sign off on these partnerships as well.
4. Will there be class time to work on projects?
No. The science writing piece will be tackled in class, but self-directed projects will have to be worked on at home. The PTA will provide tri-fold boards and scientific equipment for those students who are in need. Please indicate on the registration form that your student will need a board or speak with your student’s science teacher.
5. How big can my student's project be?
Most projects will be displayed on a 3 panel tri-fold presentation board (whth an area of 48"W X 36"H X 24" D). Your student will first present a description of their project to their teacher. If it is something that is bigger than the presentation board but is manageable in the eyes of their teacher it can be allowed. We don't want to stifle creativity but we have to make sure projects are reasonable and safe as well.
6. What kind of project is unsafe? (i.e.- Can my student blow stuff up at school?)
The short answer is NO! You and your student can do whatever type of project at home but at school the normal school rules apply. No weapons, no fires, no setting off Mentos in Diet Coke bottle inside the cafeteria, etc. Sorry. If your student wants to do this type of project at home, under your direct supervision, great! Take lots of pictures, make a video, or invite their friends over for a science observation party. Just please be thoughtful about our volunteers, staff, and other students in regards to what type of demonstration is too messy or too dangerous at school.
7. Can I help my student with their self-directed project?
Yes and no. Students will need some guidance. Help them think about how long a project will be. What might the steps look like? Help them gather materials. If they need to do research on the computer or at the library, try to arrange time in busy schedules for those opportunities. But please don't do the projects for them. The goal is for them to tackle this self-directed project on their own. If they pick a topic that they are excited about this will be much easier to complete successfully.
8. Can my Kindergartner or 1st grader do a self-directed project?
If your Kindergartner or 1st grader is really excited about doing science, has a passion for a subject, and you as the parent feel they can take on a project of this scale, then please submit a project participation form to your Grade K-1 teacher, and they will bring to the committee. We don't want to exclude any student who is excited about science. We just felt that many of the Grade K-1 students would not have the reading, writing, or time management skills to complete a project of this scale.
9. Where do I turn in my registration form?
Complete the Registration Form, sign it, and then give to your child's teacher to sign off/approve the project. Teachers will return each registration form to the office PTA mail box. The forms are due by Tuesday MARCH 7th !!!
10. What can I do to help the STEM Fair Palooza?
We are looking for volunteers (10-15) to judge and give feedback on student projects. (Nope you don't have to be a Physicist to be a judge – We'll give you a cheat sheet.) We need (5-8) people to set up of the projects on Thursday the 6th after last lunch (approx. 1:15 pm) and to help clean up after. Please check the Gatewood PTA website for volunteer sign-up http://www.gatewoodvolunteers.my-pta.org/ or email email@example.com if you can help. Thanks!
Other questions? Please email them to Ms Jeannie Revello firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll do our best to answer them in a timely manner. If you have any great ideas on how to make the STEM Fair work smoothly, other suggestions, or to volunteer, please email to the above as well. Thank you.