Buttonball Lane School science fair fun for all ages
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Fri., Mar. 22, 2013
Buttonball Lane School science and math teacher Lisa Gozzo clearly loves science. Dressed as “Alberta Einstein,” she served as primary ringleader at the school's science fair on March 21, scurrying up and down the hallways to make sure everyone visited each science station and saw all of the student exhibits.
Gozzo, the school's PACE math and science teacher, said the student projects began just after the first of the year, and began with a kickoff pep rally. The students then submitted proposals for experiments that have a testable question.
This year's theme was “going green,” and students in kindergarten through second grade could opt to submit a collection as their project, and many chose the slant of re-using recyclable materials. For example, one project created a model of Stonehenge out of empty toilet paper rolls.
This year's fair had 196 total projects by 225 students (some worked as teams), and Gozzo said that is a great turnout.
“They did fantastic,” she said. “I think the ‘going green’ projects really stood out.”
Among the student projects were some creative experiments, including how bananas ripen in different locations.
One experiment asked whether Diet Coke would dissolve meat (thankfully, it does not). Another questioned the shelf life of restaurant hamburgers. Interestingly, after 27 days, the burgers from three different places look exactly the same, but were “hard as a rock.”
“The bread hadn't decomposed either, which was scary,” Gozzo said.
Mad Science representatives were also on hand, performing demonstrations and running special science labs. The most popular stations were the polymer labs – in one, students could create their own slime; in the other, a bouncy rubber ball.
Gozzo said the event is made possible by student volunteer teams, and said her right hand is parent-volunteer Jennifer Stassen.
The theme and the fair both tie in with the curriculum. Examples include the third-graders, who study a “Stewardship of Earth” lesson, and fourth-graders have water and force-and-motion units, but the goal of the science fair – one which Buttonball clearly excels at – is making learning fun.
“This rocks,” Gozzo said. “The kids talk about this – I hear them running down the hall saying, 'Science is so fun!'”