19 Feb Get Excited! It’s Science Fair Time!
Its science fair time! Over the past few years, SEA’s students have participated in the citywide George Washington Carver Science Fair. The fair is open to students in the local schools (public, private, parochial, and cyber systems) as well as area afterschool and out-of-time school programs. SEA falls into the last category. The fair is open to youth between grades 4th and 12thand averages 800 to 1,000 entries each year. For us, participation in the science fair is something undertaken by our older students (4th and 5th graders); making fair participation a nice “next step” in SEA participation.
This year we have 7 kids participating in the fair. We have one fourth grade pair. We enter our youngest fair participants in pairs so they can lean on each other as they embark into their new world of competitive science competitions. We also have three fifth graders as well as two program alum competing in the fair. Though our program concludes at the fifth grade, our alumni can continue to participate throughout their middle and high school years.
SEA has had an excellent track record at the George Washington Carver Science Fair. We first entered the fair in 2010 with 3 projects. Since that time our students have consistently placed within program divisions. This past year we entered 6 projects and not only did our students shine in their respective categories, but one of our students received special accommodations from the Philadelphia Space Alliance and another received the Naval Science Award from the Office of Naval Research. The kids’ performance in the fair speaks to not only the critical thinking and scientific curiosity nourished at SEA, but also to their own love for scientific exploration.
In preparation for the fair, each of our students work with a UPenn graduate student or post-doctoral fellow to undertake their projects. From the initial critical thinking phases to the construction of their science fair boards our volunteers are there each step of the way. Along with the great support we receive from our volunteers, our program parents are also fully committed to their children’s projects!
This science fair takes place in two phases. This year the 4-6th graders projects will be open to the general public on Wednesday, February 19 from 12:30-4:30pm. The 7-12th graders’ projects are available for public viewing on Tuesday, March 4 from 12:30-4:30pm. If you have free time come down to the fair and support not only our program kids, but the city’s youth as they all engage in the wonders of scientific discovery!
Synopsis of the Projects Entered this Year
4th Grade: measuring sound waves in air and water
5th Grade: determining how the density of salt and water will affect an egg’s ability to float
5th Grade: measuring the effects of different acidic liquids on aluminum
5th Grade: examining the effect of the PH on plant health
7th Grade: examining the effect of light wavelength on plant growth
8th Grade: examining water quality based on chemical analysis