The staff and students of Rowntree continued the development of scientific thinking and interactive learning by closing off our “Science Re-Invented” theme week with our annual Science Fair Activity Day. This year’s activity day featured twenty-five different activities both in and outside of the school. The Science Fair at RMS is unique because it is entirely student prepared and lead. Students from grades 4-6 are dressed in lab coats and protective glasses to act as tour guides for the students from JK-Grade 3. The grade 7-8 students, together with some of the grade 6 students, were scientists, and guided younger students through hands on activities. It was a day filled with excitement and learning, and a great display of the sense of community.
Preparation for this big day started about a month ago. Grade 7 and 8 students planned and prepared the activities they would be running for the day. Emphasis was placed on reusing items, so students collected many recyclable materials including empty water bottles, empty juice boxes, and toilet paper rolls. These were used for younger students to build various structures. Students were thrilled to construct their own toy trucks from toilet paper rolls, a lava lamp using plastic water bottles, and they even designed their own structure from toothpicks and marshmallows!
Students got a chance to investigate space through our planetarium. They explored how different forces acted on an object in flight, and tried to land a paper aircraft and a parachute safely to the ground. They designed and built boats from juice boxes, and sailed them in a pool of water to observe buoyant and gravitational forces.
Food Science was another popular topic of investigation. The students made pancakes, and syrup from strawberries! Then they moved on to the next food station where they explored sedimentary rocks by making Rice Krispy squares! Outside, students made a mechanical mixture by using ice cream and sprinkles. The younger students made goo from borax and glue, and play dough from flour. They tested the solubility of different substances, and watched fluids race down a ramp to determine the flow rate and viscosity.
Some of the biggest excitement of the day came from the explosions from the volcano, the wonders of the dry ice magic show, and the use of robots to complete a task. Of course, the day would not have been complete without our annual bake sale. The students had the opportunity to purchase a variety of treats which were baked, or bought, and then donated by the parents. The smell of cookies and cakes filled our school hallways! This was a delicious way to raise funds for our science department.
At the end of it all, students gained a great deal of scientific knowledge through interactive, hands-on activities. They did an amazing job in their inquiry-based approach to experiments and experiencing the “fun” in Science. This style of learning will foster a love for Science in students that will keep them interested during science class, and encourage them to explore, investigate, and be curious.
Click the link below to see the highlight reel of the science fair competition and activity day.