The Surry County School System recently held the first of what officials there hope will become an annual Science Fair Showcase. The event, held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Mount Airy, featured 58 projects from students who were winners at the district science fair.
On that morning, the winning students received assistance from local judges who used the regional science fair rubric to provide the students with recommendations for improving their projects before going to the regional competition. While the students presented their projects, the judges gave written feedback on the project requirements, presentation skills, and ideas for further research.
The students appreciated the extra help and learned things from the judges that they will correct prior to competition. Jessica Taylor and Michelle Ramos from North Surry said, “The judges gave us great ideas to improve our project, Temperature of Fabric Dyes. We definitely will make the changes. These past two days working with the judges and presenting our project to fifth graders in our district was a great experience.”
The afternoon of the opening day, Jan. 29, and all day on Jan. 30, the winning students presented their projects to all the fifth graders in the district. The fifth graders from the eleven elementary schools visited the showcase on a rotating schedule and saw as many projects as they could in 50 minutes.
The fifth grade students used a science fair showcase bingo card to work their way through the projects. The winners had to sign off on their card indicating the students had listened and asked questions. Gentry Middle school winners, Sadie Hayes and Cynthia Chaire, kept a tally sheet of the cards they signed.
“We signed 394 fifth grade cards. We talked to all those students about our science project. It was tiring but great practice for us,” they said.
The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science and the Public, is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. After winning at the region and state level, three Surry County Schools students attended the fair in Los Angeles, California last May.
Courtland Hardy and Dannis Cazarez, two of the students who attended last year, addressed all the science winners on this year, telling them from personal experience what region, state, and international judges look for in a great science fair project. Courtland and Dannis hope to participate in the fair to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in May.
After visiting the showcase, Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves said, “Today is a great day as our students showcase their projects…This was a great opportunity for students to grow as they taught their peers about the research they had done. I witnessed many students using the full range of higher order thinking skills on Bloom’s Taxonomy from the knowledge and application level all the way to top levels of synthesis and evaluation.”
Jeff Edwards, Surry County Schools Science Institute coordinator, and Sonia Dickerson, director of communications, organized the two-day event.