After a summer filled with science, Marshall Summer Program’s future scientist shared all they had learned with each other in a day of presentations we like to call the Science Fair Intercambio.
While observing the Physics of Sound in the 3rd grade classroom, an array of noise came flooding out of the room. But it was all in the name of science. The pinging of tuning forks bounced off the dinging of small xylophones and mixed in with muffled voices talking through string telephones. Ears were ringing but the big smiles and the shining eyes of the 3rd graders sharing what they had learned with 5th graders made it worth while.
This summer’s science really demonstrated the importance of letting kids do what they do best: learn from playing around with objects and using their natural curiosity to come to their own deeper understanding of science and it’s relation to their lives. The 3rd graders experimented with bouncing ping-pong balls, splattering water and tuning forks to illustrate the vibration of an object that is producing sound. The fun of playing a xylophone, or a guitar or fiddle made from a door, some string and a block of wood disguised lessons in pitch.
When the 3rd grade class finished presenting, they visited the 4th graders, who the read their impressively eloquent reports about the solar system and taught the 3rd graders about the movement of shadows due to the position of the earth in relation to the sun.
This summer, the 5th graders became engineers with their class-made models of popsicle stick bridges over painted rivers and box houses. They became historians and explorers during field trips to the Bay for sailing and canoeing and how it connected to the science of water and oceans. The 2nd graders became chemists this summer when they made toothpaste from common household products. Our 1st graders discovered they were zoologists and botanists when they presented their detailed animal and plant habitat illustrations.
After a summer of hours spent building instruments and untangling strings, it was amazing seeing the presentations and how intently students spoke to their “elders” (4th and 5th graders can be very intimidating) and how proud they were to show their science notebooks and presentations to their parents at the end of the day.