In a year controlled by COVID restrictions, this year’s grade 8 class persevered and accomplished some great things in science. A subject where there are typically many more hands-on activities, group projects, and space for exploration of topics, this year our hands were tied; yet, the students did not let that stop them from exploring topics that interested them.
Though not as many labs, and no big science fair to close out the year, students still found themselves individually creating cell models, investigating a variety of pathogens and creating a Wanted Poster for their pathogen of choice, dissecting eyeballs to better understand the critical parts of the eye that help us see, and pursuing a topic of their choice in a “science fair project” (independently). The energy students put into all of their work, projects, and unique labs for a unique school year never ceased to amaze me.
The biggest surprise out of all of this though, was the quality of work put into their science fair projects. These were predominantly projects done outside of the classroom. Students were introduced to the idea just before Christmas break, when they were asked to have discussions with their families to start thinking about what their project would be. In January, students received the assignment proper; they were to choose a topic that interested them and either conduct an experiment or research. In total, students had no more than 5 class blocks between that time and early June to work on their projects in class, the rest was up to them outside of school.
The plan all along was to hold an actual science fair, should COVID restrictions ease enough to allow it; unfortunately, this did not happen and it shifted to students presenting their projects in class, which wrapped up this week. We saw experiments such as: how does pH effect plant growth, which potato makes the best battery, and which soap is the best at getting our hands clean (fitting for the pandemic world we are living in). Research topics included: what would it take to live on Mars, physics of sports, and why we dream. This by no means covers all projects presented, but gives you an idea of the diverse interests of our grade 8 class.
Since we could not hold a science fair, here are a few of the projects shared by students. Thank you to those who bravely volunteered to have their project and photo shared in this week’s newsletter.
Mrs. Diaz, Teacher