Dear Parents and Scholars, 2013-2014
It’s science fair time here at McCoy Elementary! The science fair is a great opportunity to encourage inquiry in our students. This year all students in third, fourth, and fifth grades will have the OPTION of participating in the McCoy Science FAIR. Those competing in the McCoy Science FAIR will work on their projects throughout the fall to be submitted in January. These Science FAIR projects will be judged and the top projects will be chosen to move on to the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival in February.
Later in the spring, all fifth graders who chose to NOT compete in the McCoy Science FAIR will have the opportunity to participate in the McCoy Science SHARE. The Science SHARE is mandatory and projects will be graded as a culmanating science grade. Those fifth graders who create a project for January's Science FAIR will not need to make a new project, but will simply turn in their Science FAIR project for a Science SHARE grade.
Fourth and fifth grader scholars are required to conduct an experiment. And third graders may choose an experiment or demonstration. An experiment is a test of a question to which students do not already know the answer to without testing. Examples of testable questions include:
Does the sun heat saltwater and freshwater at the same rate? Which type of soil can hold the most water? What is the best insulator to keep ice from melting?
During October, interested scholars can get a Science FAIR packet from Mrs. Cundieff (5th grade teacher). This packet will include a timeline of due dates, a guide for conducting an experiment, science fair project steps, and requirements for the science fair display. By October, this information will also be updated and available on the McCoy website under the science fair link. Projects will be judged by community members with experience in STEM areas.
The best investigation ideas come from things you are curious about. Every time you think or hear yourself say “I wonder if...,” stop and write down what you said or thought. Using the following guidelines separate the questions into two categories.
PROJECT IDEAS ALLOWED: PROJECT IDEAS NOT ALLOWED:
Non-testable questions (not to be done)
Something can be observed.
Equipment needed for testing would be too hard to get.
Something can be measured.
Testing might be unsafe
Two or more things can be compared.
Question is too complex to investigate at home or school.
Variables can be controlled.
May cause harm or danger to animals/environment.
Common materials found at home or school can be used for testing.
Materials are too expensive, too complicated, or inappropriate for grade level of scholar.
Please note: Students will not be allowed to design or conduct any science project that involves:
-Firearms, explosives, or discharge air pressure canister devices (i.e. potato guns)
- Growing bacteria or mold at home
- Causing pain, suffering, sickness, or death of an animal
- Any activity or substance that presents a danger to the student or the environment, including hazardous chemicals or radioactive materials.