Gunston STEM Nights 2021

graphic of atom   Gunston Virtual Science Fair!     graphic of test tubes

START PLANNING YOUR PROJECTS NOW! 

The Gunston Elementary School Science Fair is GOING VIRTUAL!!  

This year we will not have an in-person science fair, but that doesn’t mean we will miss out on science fair fun!  Any student who wants to participate in the science fair can still do so, by completing a science fair project in accordance with the science fair guidelines.  Once the project is completed, students must upload a Flipgrid video to showcase their project.  The video will be the student’s only science fair submission

Flipgrid videos must be uploaded by Friday May 14th!

Students can either work alone or collaborate with a sibling that is also a student at Gunston.  No group projects this year

The best projects usually reflect a student’s interest or something that has been recently learned.  Please help your student select a topic that is a fun learning experience! 

If they need additional help, please reach out to ptagunston@gmail.com and our PTA will coordinate virtual science fair help as needed!

Please complete the following Google form with information about your project by Friday, May 7th.  Guidelines and requirements can be found on our Gunston website.

 

Save these Science Fair/STEM Night Dates:

  • Wednesday, May 19th 6:00-8:00 PM (Grades K-2)
  • Thursday, May 20th 6:00-8:00 PM (Grades 3-6)

 

Gunston Elementary School  2021 Virtual Science Fair Guidelines

  1. Identify a Virtual Science Fair Project topic.

Talk to your parents about topics that interest you and would be possible to show on a Flipgrid video.  With your parents’ help, search the internet for ideas or visit the library to find a topic that interests you.  If you can’t think of any ideas, try out this tool to help you select a topic. https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/topic-selection-wizard/background-info

  1. Determine the type of science project you will develop: Model, Demonstration, or Experiment.

There are three basic types of science projects: models, demonstrations, and experiments.   

  • Models are projects that show how something works or what it is made of (examples: “The Solar System”, “How an Electric Circuit Works”, or “Parts of a Plant”).   
  • Demonstrations are live and/or interactive projects that show how something works or the cause and effect of an action (examples: “Volcano Eruptions” or “Tornado in a Bottle”).   
  • Experiments are projects that test a hypothesis and identify findings to answer questions or solve problems (examples:  “What is the Best Environment for Yeast Fermentation?”,  “Which Paper Towel is More Absorbent?”, or “The Effect of Detergent on the Growth of Plants”).

Think about how the type of science project you will develop can be shown in a Flipgrid video.  Make sure to check out the science fair dos and don’ts included at the end of these guidelines.

  1. Demonstrate use of the Scientific Method in your project.

The scientific method is a way to ask and answer scientific questions by making observations and doing experiments.  The steps of the scientific method are to:  

    • Ask a question
    • Do background research about the problem
    • Construct a Hypothesis (predict what might happen based on what you know)
    • Write a procedure (experiment plan) and identify variables. Your procedure will ensure that you follow the same approach each time you test a new variable.
    • Test your Hypothesis by doing an experiment, using variables
    • Record and organize your findings (data/results) in tables and graphs
    • Analyze your data and draw a conclusion
    • If necessary, retest. Sometimes an experiment does not provide the expected results and we need to go back and retest our findings using the same or different procedures or variables.  

For more information on the Scientific Method, visit: http://www.sciencebuddies.com/science-fair-projects/project_scientific_method.shtml  

  1. Get project assistance when needed.

This is YOUR science fair project, not your parents!  However, you may need assistance to find a topic, research, conduct your experiment, draw conclusions, and prepare your presentation.  And, that’s OK!  Reach out to your parents for help – just make sure that you do the work!

  1. Start early – don’t wait until the last minute! 

Science projects and experiments require a significant amount of time and prep work – make sure you plan ahead and are not rushed at the last minute.  Some science experiments take weeks!

  1. Upload your Flipgrid video

This year the Science Fair has gone virtual!  Since we will not have an in-person event, you do not need to complete a trifold board for your project.  You are welcome to do so if you choose, but it is not a requirement.  Instead, each student that chooses to participate will make a Flipgrid video that showcases their science fair project. 

In your video, talk about your topic and briefly describe how you applied the scientific method.  Tell us about whether you choose a demonstration, experiment, or model.  Relay the results of your experiment, record a demonstration of the project, or show and describe the model that you developed.  Take your time planning out what you want to say in your video.  You may want to practice what you plan to share before you record your final video.  Videos can be up to 2 minutes long. 

 

The deadline for completing your Flipgrid video will be Friday May 14th

All of these videos will be compiled into one 2021 Science Fair presentation to be shared with the school on STEM Nights.

 

Science Fair Do’s and Don’ts

Restrictions for FCPS Elementary Science Fair Projects

Students are prohibited from using the following organisms in their projects:

  • Molds
  • Bacteria
  • Humans (including human surveys)
  • Vertebrates

If a student chooses to use invertebrates, it is the parent’s responsibility to make sure that the experiment is done for sound scientific reasons and will not harm the invertebrate unduly.  One of the reasons for these restrictions is that these organisms are taken from the wild and once they are removed from their natural habitat, there are too many variables to make it a controlled experiment.

Science Fair Project Requirements

Models:

  • Label parts correctly
  • Provide an explanation (what does each part do?)
  • Present a well organized, accurate, and neat project
  • Student must provide independent explanation

 

Demonstrations:

  • Provide a step-by-step explanation
  • Ensure the explanation is in the appropriate sequence
  • Provide reasoning (what is learned through the demonstration)
  • Present a well organized, accurate, and neat project
  • Student must provide independent explanation

 

Experiments:

  • Demonstrate use of the Scientific Method
  • State Purpose
  • State Hypothesis
  • Identify Variables (independent and dependent)
  • Identify materials needed
  • Document Procedure followed
  • Document the Findings/Results
  • State Conclusion                                                                   
  • Present a well organized, accurate, and neat project
  • Student must provide independent explanation

 

students gathered around stem night table with snakes