Archive for Thursday, February 10, 2005

A fair amount of science

February 10, 2005

On Thursday night, relatives, friends and others came out to Vinland Elementary School to see the students' science fair displays.

VES Fourth Grade Teacher Veronica Abel said the science fair helps the students better understand science and how it can be enjoyable.

"It really helps the kids understand the scientific process," Abel said. "Science is fun, and they love doing experiments."

Vinland fourth and fifth graders were required to partner up and do a science fair project. The other grades were allowed to do a project, if they desired.

The projects had to fit into one of six categories. The categories were electricity, force, organisms, magnets, states of matter and sound.

For the science fair, the students had to pick a topic, research the topic, set up an experiment, perform the experiment and write down analysis.

"The gain a sense of accomplishment, and the thinking of doing it from beginning to end," Vinland PTO co-chair Becky Thomas said.

Vinland PTO co-chairs Thomas and Barbara Matthews helped the students better understand science during January. Almost every day of the month, they went into the fourth and fifth grade classrooms and helped with the science teaching.

They also went in to help them for the state assessment tests, which are coming up soon.

"Not only do they learn the stuff for the state assessment tests, they also learn about the scientific method process," Matthews said. "The more they do hands-on, the more that will stick with them."

Thomas said she helps out with the science fair, because she enjoys watching the children.

"I get back from it what I put in," Thomas said. "It's really rewarding just being in the school with the kids."

Thomas also said its all about the students when it comes to the science fair.

"It's getting the kids excited about science and giving them a hands-on experience," Thomas said. "It's fun to watch the kids."

Matthews agrees about the hands-on experience being a big part of the projects.

"It was a lot of fun, because the kids got excited about their projects and it being hands-on," Matthews said. "Learning hands-on is the best way."

All of the projects were done in the classroom and were judged. The students received certificates, and have a chance to put their entry into the Douglas County Science Fair, which begins on March 7.

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