S.T.E.M. Fair Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics By: Denise McIlwaine
What To Expect • Where to Begin • Steps to the Scientific Method • Showboard Set-up • Data log/ journal • FAQ’s
Benefits of the STEM Fair • Opportunity to take an investigation completely through the scientific process. • Develops critical thinking skills • Science process skill • Cooperative learning skills. • In fifth grade, the Nature of Science portion of the FCAT comprises one fourth of the test items.
How Does My Child Know What Is Expected? • Students should be conducting a minimum of one science project, per nine weeks, with their science teacher. • All science teachers, grades K-5, are teaching the steps of the scientific method in their science classrooms through Inquiry Mondays and long term class investigations.
Participation The Clark Elementary Science Fair is open to all students. Students in grades K-2 compete on a class level. Students in grades 3-5 may compete in a variety of ways: • As individuals • With a partner • Small groups of 4 or fewer students. Projects may be completed in school, at home or a combination of both.
How Much Should a Parent Help? The short answer is… it depends!
Parental Help • Most grade levels may need assistance in using a word processing program. • Some students may need help with cutting, pouring liquids or working with open flame. • A parent’s role should be as an encourager and cheerleader.
We Need An Idea … Please Help!!!! • Does your child have a special interest in science like Chemistry, plants, or rocks? • Do you have a family member who works in a science field? • Can we use the internet to help? Be aware: not all “projects” on the internet meet our county criteria.
Resources www.sciencebuddies.org Janice Van Cleave “A+ winning science fair projects for Chemistry”
Steps to the Scientific Method Procedural
WARNING • Projects involving human bloodand pathogenic agents including bacteria, mold, viruses, fungi, parasites are prohibited at the elementary level. • This applies to all pathogens: human, non-human and plants. ***Absolutely no exceptions***
Materials • List all items needed for the investigation. ( 6 jars) • Be sure to include sizes. (100 mL each) • Be specific with total quantities (80mL of water per trial for a total of 480ml )
Measurement Explained • While metrics are universally used in science, it is not developmentally appropriate for all elementary grade levels. • Students MAY use a combination of customary AND metric units. • For example, one 2 by 4, three 8 ounce cups, 150 mL of water etc.
Data Table • Keep the data in a chart or a table. • All the trials of the experiment must be indicated. (5 or more trials) How many milliliters will be absorbed?
1. Bar Graphs- (most common type of graph) Displays data that does not occur in a continuous manner Ex. (Number of burgers eaten)
2. Line Graphs- Displays data that occurs in a continuous manner Ex. (Growth of a plant over a controlled period of time) Plant Growth Plant Height (cm) Growth Period
Scientist’s Journal/ Log • It should include dated diary entries of observations, data collected and any unusual occurrences.It may also include drawings, diagrams, interviews and research. • The journal should show all the evidence of the student’s hard work. • Please, DO NOT put your name anywhere in or on the journal.
Sample Data Log Entries • 9/4/2012 My teacher said it is time for STEM fair. I don’t like it because it is a lot of work, but I get to work with a partner and I am really excited. I think it would be cool if I could come up with a topic. I kind of have 1 in mind. • 9/5/2012 I shared my ideas with my teacher. She loved my idea about experimenting with worms. • 9/6/2012 My teacher said I had to have a question that I want to try to answer about worms without harming the worms. I wonder if worms like the dark more than sunny places? I always see worms after it rains. I wonder if worms don’t like being wet? I wonder where I can get worms?
Results • This is a newer section and is not mandatory. Students write about their data. • Students can list any complications or unusual occurrences here. “On trial 3, the marble rolled off of the track and rolled a distance of 3cm.” • Just the facts….no connections or inferences…yet!
Conclusion This section of the project carries a lot weight. It is usually written in paragraph form. Restate your hypothesis and tell what you’ve learned. • My data does support my hypothesis. The tile floor made the marble roll the farthest. Try to connect this to the real world. Consider, why would anyone care about your results? What questions do you still have?
Physical Display Artistic part of the project
ShowBoard Set-up • You may use any organizational order that you like. (see flier) • Often data, results and pictures go into the center section. • You may want to limit color choices to 3. • Make your display board visually appealing.
My Title Purpose Graph Hypothesis Data Procedure: Materials Variables Results Conclusion Step-by-Step Directions Research Paper Optional Data Logbook
Pizzazz and Effect • You want the judges to remember your project. The more memorable projects use a common theme. • You are allowed to attach items to the board. They must be secure, however. Cable ties (zip ties) often work well.
Display Do’s and Don’ts • Show boards may NOT exceed 100 centimeters in height. This includes any topper pieces. • NO apparatus may be displayed with the show board. Photographs or diagrams are preferred. • Students’ faces may appear in photographs. However, no school logos/insignia may be visible.
Prohibited Items • Noplant parts: including stems, leaves, roots, seeds. (Popcorn is a seed) • No body parts (human or animal) …likehair, teeth, or blood!! • No baggies with items inside. • No food items of any kind: candy, gumballs, lifesavers etc. (Empty wrappers ARE acceptable.)
When Are the Projects Due? • Our school science fair is scheduled for Monday, December 17th. • Projects may be viewed on , December 18th(7:30-12:30pm) • Contact your child’s Science teacher for class due dates.
Questions or Clarifications?? This entire presentation can be accessed from my school website at: http://clark.mysdhc.org/teacher/0851mcilwaine/