St. Martha's student science exposition in Enfield is unique

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Fri., Mar. 29, 2013
For St. Martha's science exposition in Enfield, Colin, Tyler and Noah show off the rabbit and guinea pig used in their maze experiment. Photos by Colin Rajala.
For St. Martha's science exposition in Enfield, Colin, Tyler and Noah show off the rabbit and guinea pig used in their maze experiment. Photos by Colin Rajala.

Cliché science projects like the solar system, an erupting volcano or a potato clock were not on display at the St. Martha School’s science exposition on March 26 in the school’s cafeteria, but the second annual science exposition did feature a variety of innovative and unique projects from the Catholic school students. The exposition featured students in grades six through eight presenting their displays and findings to friends, family members and teachers, as they showed off their original science projects and discoveries.

“This was the best piece of the project for them, you can see their excitement,” said Christina Yester, an eighth grade teacher at St. Martha School. “It's great to see their enthusiasm and excitement about the project; they really took ownership of it. They can talk to anyone about their idea, what happened, and what they concluded. They are proud to present it.”

For students participating for the first time, the project gave them an introduction to the scientific method, the process scientists use to learn about and study the world around them through research by acquiring knowledge or data and connecting that with prior knowledge or data. For those who had participated previously, it gave them an opportunity to ask more comprehensive questions or learn more about another facet of science they found intriguing.

The project was broken down into smaller steps along the way so teachers could monitor the activity while making it more manageable and less daunting for the students. The groups came up with original project ideas, narrowing it down to one specific idea, before researching background information through a variety of sources. They wrote a paper including the hypothesis of their project as well as the procedure in which they would experiment. After the students designed and hypothesized about the experiments, they took action performing their experiments and collecting data before handing in a final paper and poster detailing the project and explaining their findings.

The children’s displays highlighted the main aspects of the projects, showing the materials used, methods of the experiment and results of their findings. Students displayed their actual experiments, picture progressions of their experiments and even videos of their work alongside their displays.

“They are getting ready for high school and the rest of their lives, and they had to work together; there were problems along the way, but they worked them out on their own” said Susan Logan, parent coordinator.

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