WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Katonah-Lewisboro school Meadow Pond Elementary recently held its first science fair in nearly a decade, where children in grades K through five displayed their projects.
The PTA-sponsored event on April 30 invited parents and friends to view the projects and share the students’ scientific accomplishments. Each student received a ribbon for his or her participation, and volunteer judges critiqued each project.
According to Principal Carolann Castellano, while the science projects were not a curricular requirement, school officials gave students the opportunity to conduct their own experiments at home and showcase them at school. Students worked independently or with partners. Close to 60 projects, some of which were undertaken by multiple students, were submitted.
“Science is really something that someone in the 21st century needs to get a sense of and think, how does this work?” Castellano said. “We’re looking to support creativity and scientific thinking and to engender a love of learning. When you see all of the projects, you feel a sense of enjoyment and enthusiasm. All of the projects are very thoughtful.”
Fourth-grader Sydney Rossi, who partnered on her project with classmate Sydney Sarner, said she thought a brand-name carpet cleaner would remove stains better than a homemade solution. But she was surprised at the outcome.
“I learned that science is really fun and it’s easy if you have the right tools,” Rossi said. Third-grader Samantha Donnelly said her curiosity about the world around her was what triggered her interest in conducting a science experiment. She wanted to find out what kind of liquid was best for plant growth. In the end, water beat out vinegar and lemon water.
Madeline Galgano, Julia Newmann, Mikaela Parker and Riannah Wallach enjoyed collaborating on a project titled “Familiar Fingerprints.” The third-graders wanted to find out if their fingerprints are similar to those of their parents and other family members, including a family cat. They used ink pads to leave their fingerprints on balloons and compare the results.
“You really think you’re a scientist,” Newmann said. “It’s really fun.”
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