It started as a department goal, how might middle school students connect in their learning with our lower school friends? The challenge: research and create a science-based experiment, game, or activity that will engage younger learners. It resulted in Monday’s fabulously successful Science Extravaganza.
“We love having our students take ownership for their own learning, with guidance but also to shepherd younger students as their teachers,” said Mariam Fadel, middle school science teacher.
To begin, the middle schoolers brainstormed ideas and formed teams of similar interests. They researched and developed a guiding question with the examples provided. Once approved, students created a trifold with general parameters for each type of project and decided the best way to draw in the four and five-year-olds.
Project examples included:
Machines, Propulsion, and Eruptions
- Inclined Planes and Hot Wheels
- Measure Weighted Vertical Jump Patterns
- Coke and Mentos (with different size coke bottles)
Chemistry- Mixing and Combining
- Non-Newtonian Fluids
- Oooooh and Ahhh Over Oobleck
- Make Perfect Ice Cream
Biology and Astronomy
- Monster Matching Dichotomous Key
- How Do Taste Buds Work?
- Black Holes
After the event, the middle schoolers reflected together and as individuals.
“Everyone loved it and had such great stories to share,” said Fadel. “I met with all my middle school classes the next day, and we discussed all the great work they did and how much it was appreciated by all. We also discussed what we could make better for next year. Most of it was logistical or maintenance setup. They wanted to present it to more lower school students as well.”