By Sabrina Solares-Hand, External Affairs Associate
After months of lessons and homework, our scholars are approaching the end of another school year. It’s a busy and exciting time of year. Our 4th and 8th grade scholars are looking forward to stepping up into middle and high school, end of year field trips are in full swing, and scholars are having a blast on field days. With all the hustle and bustle comes something else many of us remember from our own grade school days – The Science Fair.
Looking back, I remember my science fair vividly. I was nervous and petrified that someone would ask me a question. I remember avoiding eye contact to dodge presenting my project to people who passed by. Earlier this week, scholars at Elementary School 2 gathered to present their projects at a science fair of their own. At first glance, it looked just as you would expect with rows of poster boards set-up and scholars stationed nearby to explain their work. Two steps into the cafeteria and I knew this was not like my science fair.
Before I could get my bearings a scholar had approached me and asked if I would like to hear about his project on liquids that could be used to prevent the oxidation of fruit. No sooner was it that he finished that another scholar asked the same, and another, and another. Scholars shared how they tested whether a thick or thin wire conducted electricity better. They showed me graphs to explain what happened when they increased the distance between magnets and iron fillings. Each went into detail about their scientific process, their observations, and findings. When I asked questions I was not met with nervousness. Instead, there was excitement, enthusiasm, and joy. Every scholar was proud to show visitors how hard they had worked. Wise beyond their years, they were also eager to share lessons learned and opportunities to improve.
As I have been so many times before, I was proud to see just how analytical, creative, and well-spoken our scholars are. In a word – how amazing they are. Spending time with them was yet again the highlight of my week. While I think these scholars will remember their science fair as I do, somehow I think their memories will be different. Call it a hunch, but I think many of them will look back and instead remember where their love of science and maybe even their careers began.