Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.
The 2020 Science Fair was launched in December 2019 with a presentation to parents and children describing our rationale for running the projects and detailing what a ‘good project’ would involve. In some ways the most challenging part of the entire process is for the children to determine the topic, and specifically, the key scientific question, to be investigated. This year’s projects did not disappoint and addressed a variety of fascinating questions such as:
How does the shape of the blade affect the rate of spin of a wind turbine?
Do you get what you pay for with ballet shoes?
Does the tempo of music affect your heart rate?
How can I vary the period of a pendulum?
How to make the perfect iced drink.
Can potatoes power a clock?
Are expensive batteries worth the money?
Which sail is best for a sailing boat?
The children were guided through the stages of the Scientific Method: Question, Research, Hypothesis, Method (including the ‘Fair Test’ principle), Results, Analysis and Conclusion. The final step was to produce the presentation board and hold our 2020 Science Fair, when school was closed!
When it became apparent that holding a physical Science Fair was no longer a possibility for this school year, the Year 6s might have been forgiven for choosing not to invest further time and effort to complete their projects. In fact the opposite occurred. All children completed summary questions and over half of the year group chose to finish off their projects in their own time and produce their presentation board.
So, whilst we cannot enjoy a ‘normal’ Science Fair, we can take our time perusing and celebrating the completed projects. These projects display the creativity, scientific thought, thoroughness, skill and clarity we were looking for. The children have demonstrated their Blue Coat Values and cheerfully tried hard, despite the circumstances.
Without doubt the children have built upon their understanding of Science and the investigative process. They have experienced the scientific method first hand and dealt with any difficulties as they arose. I am incredibly proud of each and every Year 6 child and their commitment to Science throughout the year.