Hebron Avenue adds extra fun to science fair

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Fri., Mar. 25, 2011
Christine Doucette and her sons, Andrew, 13, and Matthew, 7, look at a close-up of an insect on a computer screen connected to a microscope.
Christine Doucette and her sons, Andrew, 13, and Matthew, 7, look at a close-up of an insect on a computer screen connected to a microscope.

Young scientists at Hebron Avenue School got to show off their talents at the annual Science Fair on March 24.

Students had to come up with a testable question, generate a hypothesis, and then document the testing procedure and draw a conclusion. The school provide the tri-fold boards, which the students use to post the data and graphics, parent volunteer Dawn Keeney said.

Anna, 8, a third-grader, tested the size of bubble gum bubbles in order to determine which brand of gum produced the largest.

“It turned out to be Bubble Yum,” she said, adding that she blew bubbles over the course of three evenings, and simply measured each one with a ruler. Her display included graphs and charts which showed each test and its results, as well as photos of Anna blowing the bubbles.

A different sort of bubble attracted a lot of attention.

Students were able to stand inside a contraption that produced long bubbles by raising a hula-hoop up around their bodies. That particular machine was part of a student project years ago, but because of its popularity, was left for the school to use at subsequent science fairs.

While the projects were on display in the school's cafeteria, the gym was filled with science hands-on activities.

Science and math teacher Maureen Donohue said the activities were added to bring a greater draw to the science fair, but also to add to the learning.

“The [tri-fold] boards,” Donohue said, “they go on all day anyway, and the kids all see it. But this brings everybody.”

Volunteers from the local Key Club, the Audubon Society, Mad Science, and other local organizations, as well as parents helped facilitate the numerous activities.

Students touched plasma walls, petted animals such as snakes and turtles, and viewed bugs and other creepy-crawlers through a microscope.

One of the most popular activities was the “Take Apart Lab,” wherein students are allowed (under supervision and while wearing goggles) to take apart donated used computers, DVD players, radios, and other devices.

Donohue said her hope is to have more of the activities run by the older students in the future.

“This year it's new to have the high school kids helping out,” she said. “Next year, my hope is to have it be more kid-driven, like to have my fifth-graders running the stations.”


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