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Hamden Hall Country Day School
Educating students in PreSchool through Grade 12

Lower School Science Fair Showcases Ingenuity and Creativity

It was a night of all things science as extractions of strawberry and blueberry DNA, a tornado in a box, a miniature wind turbine and solar panel display, and other demonstrations and experiments filled the cafeteria tables as students in Grades 4-6 showcased their research findings at the Lower School Science Fair.

With the welcoming of parents and guests, students created their own individual presentation stations as they propped up their colorfully designed poster boards detailing their topic, research, and conclusion. The hour-long culminating exhibition was broken down into two segments. In the first half, parents made their way around to each station to ask the students questions and learn explanations about their projects. The second half allowed students to ask each other questions about their projects.

“The Science Fair gives the students a moment to shine, to think creatively, and to demonstrate to us what they know in ways they know how to show it,” said Lower School science teacher Emily Davies. “It was really important for the students to choose their own project ideas because researching topics that they are personally interested in and relevant to their lives results in both learning growth and an excitement to share what they learned.”

For her project titled As Big As it Goes, fifth-grader Madeleine Barbieri researched the question: What maximizes the amount of gas created by a chemical reaction when mixing baking soda and vinegar? For the experiment portion, she performed 11 tests on balloons using 5 teaspoons of baking soda and one cup of vinegar. In each new test, she maximized the acetic concentration of the vinegar from 1 percent to percent. Her conclusion stated that the most effective concentration was 15 percent.

Other projects included the Growing Gummies demonstration and experiment by fourth-grader Ava Harris, the Saturn’s Ring research project by fifth-grader Annika Crocker, the Little Life of a Platy Fish research project by fifth-grader Francesa Rogers, and the Potato Voltage experiment by sixth-grader Gabe Goldner.

The road  to the  science fair began a few short months ago with the help of Mrs. Davies and Head Media Specialist Stacey Schwartz. Miss Schwartz curated a Choice Board full of different topic ideas in the areas of chemistry, biology, astronomy, and geology as a jumping block for students. As the students narrowed down their ideas, they shared their first and second topic choice with Mrs. Davies for her final approval. 

While all the students had to follow a rubric and guidelines, each grade had a few different requirements. Students in Grades 4 and 5 were more research-based projects with a demonstration component. Students in Grade 6 had a more formalized task of conducting an experiment by means of the scientific method. Students chose a question, formed and tested a hypothesis through testing, and reported the data and variables in a lab report. 

“It was amazing to see how confident and knowledgeable the students were,” said Director of Lower School Lorri Carroll.

Hamden Hall Country Day School

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