Students Pursue Their Interests
Katelyn, a first grader at Katonah Elementary School, grew up around honeybees. Her family’s backyard hives supported the bees’ pollination activities around the neighborhood and gave her family access to delicious honey. Last summer, unfortunately, all of their bees died.
“We think maybe someone in the neighborhood was using pesticides on their lawn,” Katelyn said at the KES Science Fair. Her project, “A World Without Food” highlighted the importance of bees in growing fruits and vegetables.
170 students participate in KES' 2018 Science Fair
"Why Do Planes Fly Faster One Way Than The Other" . . . and so much more!
“We saw a number of projects focused on the environment,” said KES parents and Science Fair co-chairs Susan Williams and Leah Jacobson, citing Bedford 2020--a local initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions--as an influence. Environmentally-themed projects included “Polar Bears and Climate Change,” “What Soil Types Make Plants Grow Faster,” “Soil Erosion in a Town,” “Coastal Erosion,” and “Global Warming and What We Can Do About It.”
As a step towards sustainability, no bottled beverages were served at the KES Science Fair. Children were encouraged to bring their own water bottles.
Students’ enthusiasm for their projects was evident as well as a growing understanding of the scientific method.
- Kindergartener Tazio built a trebuchet to carry out a catapult experiment.
- First grader Charlotte disproved her hypothesis that time in the oven made a cake rise.
- Second grader Rapha created several charts of data gleaned from experiments connecting popcorn price to taste.
- Third grader Erin tested various household surfaces to identify the bottom of her shoes as having the most germs.
- Fourth graders Kate and Amelia focused on the variables of wind and storms in their analysis of building strength.
- Fifth grader Nina used PH test strips to conclude that soy milk was more acidic than dairy milk.
Visiting scientists, identified by their white lab coats, included John Jay High School science students, KES parents who work in the sciences, and Katonah-Lewisboro School District teachers. They conferred with the students about their projects and awarded stickers to all participants.
“The Science Fair is an exemplary experience of what we want for our students—an intellectually engaging, inquiry-based approach to learning,” said KES Principal Cristy Harris. “Answering questions and receiving constructive feedback from the visiting scientists contributed to the authenticity of the event."
A Community that Embraces Opportunities for Learning Beyond the Classroom
Other guests included KLSD Superintendent Andrew Selesnick, Board of Education President Marjorie Schiff, Katonah Village Librarian Stephanie Hartwell-Mandella, and retired KES Assistant Principal Terry Costin as well as many KES parents.
“The informational sessions for students which were held after school leading up to the Science Fair provided the necessary resources, information and dedicated time for some students who otherwise may not have been able to participate,” said KES Principal Harris. “I’m thrilled with the high level of interest and participation among the students from all grades. I am so proud of our young scientists and for being a part of a community that embraces opportunities for learning beyond the classroom; fostering curiosity and encouraging students to pursue their interests.”