Wednesday, May 7, 2008

GUESS Homeschool Science Fair

We've had high excitement in our home for the last few weeks. Ben and Shira got to participate in their first ever science fair. Choosing projects was a performance all by itself. Ben wanted to do something about weather and he wanted it to be of epic proportions. His first project idea had us traveling to the Eastern Shore a few times a day. He not so graciously agreed to temper his ideas some what so his second idea had us traveling to VA Beach 3 times a day. I finally had to step in and suggest that plants were a better idea.

In the end Ben did a great little project where he postulated that seeds germinate better in the dark than the light.

Here he is, all excited about his project. (notice the lack of teeth)

Shira had a great idea. She wanted to see if she could make cut flowers stay fresh for longer than they stay fresh in plain water.

She tests solutions of salt, epsom salts, bleach, sugar and Sprite. I assumed that bleach would be the winner, but it wasn't. Sugar and Sprite kept the flowers fresh for twice the length of time that plain water did and salt, epsom salts and bleach killed them quicker than plain water.

Here she is explaining her project to another Science Fair contestant
Shira's project

Here's another pic of Ben and Shira
Ben and Shira

We, that's Lydia and I, decided not to have the K-2 group be competitive. I think it is was a stroke of genius on our parts. LOL. This age group needs to focus on the concept of doing a science fair project and learning what is involved in doing one. I was blown away at the sheer exuberance of this group.

You can see our young ones with their medals and prizes.

The K-2 brigade

The Harvey sisters won the prizes in their age groups.

Vienna tested whether organic food tastes better than non-organic food. She discovered that the people in her sample preferred organic bread and milk but regular apples and tomatoes.

Her sister, Rhiannon, did an experiment to discover if cats were paw dominant.

The 3rd-4th grade division was won by Claire Zanti, Shira's Nature Girl's Friend.

here's a pic of Rhiannon and Claire with their prizes
Rhiannon and Claire

I asked Ben what he liked best about participating in the science fair. He said that he liked learning about graphs, how to do division (Marc had to give him a quick lesson in both before he could present his data) and the dry ice shower that Mad Science gave some of the kids.

My kids were so excited when I told them that they are starting a Mad Science homeschool science class tomorrow. Mad Science was one of our science fair sponsors and they did a science demonstration for the children at our fair. Jen and Heath have the mad scientist routine down pat and the kids lap it up. It's amazing how a little bit of lunacy goes a long way to help children learn fairly sophisticated concepts.

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