This Friday night at 7:30 is our annual Science and History Fair. There are a couple of major goals we have for the students in their projects—1) to learn to do research and an experiment and 2) to make a compelling presentation. The kindergarten through third grades do a class science project. We want to develop some simple research skills and a beginning understanding of the scientific method—what it is and how to use it.
During the fourth through sixth grade years, we switch to individual history projects. Here, we are looking to develop research skills through guided research. The fourth graders study California, and the fifth and sixth graders study a country of their choice.
When the students get to junior high, they resume a science project of their choosing and the research is on their own. They choose an experiment, conduct the experiment, and present their findings. The process continues in high school, but with more detail. The cumulative work, from teacher-led projects, to guided projects, to individual projects helps students get to the goal of independence in a natural, incremental way.
The second major goal we have is developing presentation skills. This is done primarily through the display board. The display board presents the project as an overview but in a creative way. The boards need to present the material clearly but also in an aesthetic way. Overall, we are developing the analytical side of the students and the creative side. A good combination. See you on Friday.