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Investigative Minds Present At Head O’ Meadow Science And Health Expo

Published: June 29, 2018

Fourth graders eagerly greeted family and friends at Head O’ Meadow Elementary School as they participated in a Science and Health Expo in the school’s cafeteria on June 21.

Students worked in pairs or small groups during the school year to discover information on a specific subject they wanted to know more about.

Math/Science Specialist Chrissie Pierce explained that during this self-directed learning assignment, “…they all started with a research question that they wanted to investigate, then everyone came up with a visual and incorporated technology in their project.”

Many groups organized the information they found onto poster boards, iMovies, or slideshows, and made or brought in props.

The 17 research groups involved in the Science and Health Expo were the Sailing Boys, Baking BFFs, Tech Men, The Terrifying Two Tornado Girls, Penny and Benny, Electric Fruits, The Allergy Triplets, Got it? Then Relieve It. #DeleteStress, What is the Impact of Polluted Water of Communities?, The Four Crazy Tornadoes, Magnetism Magicians, The Power Brothers, The Grand Group, The Anxiety Experts, The Illusionists, The Electric Gals, and The Extreme Weather.

At Baking BFFs’ table, the aroma of Cinnabon cupcakes filled the area as group members Phoenix Sealey and Ellie Musen gave out the handmade treats. The question the team pursued answering for their project was “How do you make cupcakes?

They learned they need flour and baking powder to help the cupcakes rise and brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and sugar for taste. After their first baking attempt did not come out as planned, they adjusted their recipe and succeeded in making Cinnabon cupcakes.

Baking BFFs’ poster included its trial — and final — recipe and detailed their process: “First, we found the science behind baking, then we found how it gets its flavor and, lastly, we found out the impact of the ingredients on the end project.”

Another group that had to persevere when their first attempt did not go as expected was Electric Fruits. Members Jamie Humpreys, Katie Lye, and Olivia Gulao set out to discover “What fruits generate electricity, why can they do that, and how do you make a lemon light a battery?”

Through their research online, they found that limes and lemons work best for generating electricity, but oranges, apples, and potatoes can work too. This is so, they said, because the citric acid in the fruit allows the electricity to flow through it.

Group member Olivia explained that when they were not able to use a lemon to generate electricity, they decided to use what they learned from their research and make a soda-powered clock instead, which they had on display.

Over at the Tech Men table, Cooper Williams, Jeffrey Prout, Sebastian Los, and Tommy Trudeau showcased how toy electric motors work. Team member Sebastian said that they investigated how direct current (DC) motors work in modern technology and looked at how the specific parts of the motor function together.

“We took what we all had at home that had a DC motor in it and brought it to school,” he said. “I brought my hoverboard and RC [remote control] car.”

Other students from Tech Men brought in a portable VCR, toy airplanes, and even a small robot.

Neighboring the Tech Men group was Grace Newsom and Kiersten Daigle’s team called The Terrifying Two Tornado Girls. The pair’s main question they researched was “What are tornadoes?”

They learned how tornadoes form, what the signs are of a tornado coming, and what scale system is used to classify a tornado.

The Terrifying Two Tornado Girls’ poster explained, “Tornados are rated with a scale called the Fujito Scale. It is a scale with the category ratings EF0-EF5.”

Across the cafeteria was The Power Brothers group with members Daniel Fonck, Kori Briganti, Marc Anthony Becerra, and Massimo Ferrone. Their main question to investigate was “What alternative power sources are there?”

“We found hydro power, wind power, and solar power,” group member Daniel said.

While holding a windmill prop the group created, he added that the windmill represents how to obtain wind power. The group build a generator in it that lights a small light bulb on the back when the blades turn.

Fellow member Marc Anthony showed the group’s solar oven that is “supposed to cook what you put inside of it” and explained that they used tinfoil on top of an open box to reflect the light down onto the black paper at the bottom because dark colors absorb heat.

Whether projects succeeded in the first attempt or took some creative thinking, each student was eager to share their findings at the Science and Health Expo.

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