For anyone who ever wondered if a Yeti coffee cup really does keep coffee hotter than other competing cups, Shayna Friedman, a fourth-grade student at Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, answered this question through her Science Fair project. On Thursday, April 17, Hebrew Academy of Tidewater’s fourth and fifth grade students finished months-long projects by showing off their work at the school’s annual Science Fair.
HAT Science Teacher Tanya Conley says, “Fourth and fifth graders chose topics back in February, researched the topic and wrote a research paper, and then decided on a question and an experiment that would answer that question. They had to develop a meaningful hypothesis, identify the variables involved, and write up the procedure and materials needed before beginning the experiment.”
The students recorded the results and then used that data to create spreadsheets and graphs. “Analysis of that data guided students as they determined whether their hypothesis was supported or not, after which they wrote a conclusion, answering their own question, and created an official Lab Report to publish their findings,” says Conley. “All of those elements were then put into the Display Board to showcase their work on Fair night. The final step was learning good presentation and public speaking skills, followed by practicing with other students, teachers, administrators, and staff.”
Each student feels the value of their hard work when parents, teachers, and friends listen intently to the student’s presentation of their findings, says Conley. Three NASA scientists volunteered to interview each child, examine their work, and score them using a rubric developed for the HAT Science Fair, which they designed. “This was the ninth year they have come out for the HAT Science Fair, and they love doing it,” says Conley. “I am so proud of our HAT students! The feedback from judges, parents, teachers, and guests was overwhelmingly positive.”
– Carin Simon