Joining the day, Nancy Stewart of Seattle, performed for an overcrowded gymnasium of students, parents, family members and especially grandparents.
“We have merged the science fair with Grandparents Day and have been doing this for several years, long before I came here,” said Raymond Elementary Principal Jessica Bryant.
“This is a way to show the grandparents what their kids are up to.”
The hallways are littered with trifold display boards of almost every kind of experiment you can imagine.
”My favorite this year I think is the dirty diaper; it’s disgusting,” Bryant laughed. “The student was experimenting with collecting liquid in diapers and used a yellow dye. It looked like mustard,”
All students in the school are encouraged to do a science experiment. Starting in the third grade, the experiments become part of the science fair. Students are given roughly a month to design, create, run and present their chosen experiment, and are graded. First through third-place ribbons were awarded for every class. It has to have a hypothesis, three trials, a testable question, collect data…the entire science process, it is not just building a volcano. They have to do research, it is not a demonstration.
Even with the advancement of technology, these students learn how to prepare the projects utilizing the library and good old-fashioned book research.
The teachers grade them on several scientific points and presentation. The students have to know the experiment inside and out. Starting in the third grade, students are required to participate, and by the time they reach sixth grade, they have a really good idea what is going on, they catch on quick.