Pupils prep presentations for Weldon Science Fair March 5

Weldon Elementary School students Ayla Quezada and Ashlyn Valle test hypotheses and collect data for the projects they’ll enter in the campus’ upcoming Science Fair hosted by 5th grade teacher Miguel Reyes. (Courtesy photos)

“Science is everywhere.”
It’s a key element of 5th Grade teacher Miguel Reyes’ lessons, and a fundamental part of the upcoming science fair he’s planning with his throng of students at Weldon Elementary School.
People tend to get so used to the science around them they take it for granted, and Reyes is hoping a mix of classroom learning and hands-on application through the fair will continue opening students’ eyes to the wonders around them.
“It’s about realizing what actually does go on every day scientifically.”
The new set of science presentations are set for early afternoon Tuesday, March 5, when the students will introduce their projects in the Weldon Elementary Cafeteria.
“We’ve been practicing on it for quite a while, actually,” Reyes said. “We’re going to invite other teachers to bring their classes, too. So far it’s a ‘go’ for parents coming.”
In his Friday lessons this school year, Reyes has used weekly experiments to involve students in collecting data, writing hypotheses, laying the foundation for them to go solo: “All of that built up to this science fair. It’s without my guidance. It’s on their own.”
He’s permitting some classroom time for the projects and experiments, supplementing the efforts students put in after school.
“It’s really fun to see what they’ve come up with,” Reyes said, “things that are completely unique. One was going with ‘micro-greens’ – I haven’t seen that before.
The kids aren’t the only ones jazzed about the idea: “I’ve talked to parents, and they seem pretty excited about it.”
The science teacher’s roster also includes some fourth graders among the 98 students producing projects for March 5. Prizes are in the works, Reyes said, with judging set for 2:15 p.m. that day.
He officially introduced the science fair challenge a month ago: “The kids are excited. They’re actively participating. They’ve have everything from working with magnets to plants to circuits, gravity, physical traits, heat and thermal energy, electrical energy, mechanical, friction – pretty much everything we went over in the first semester up until now.”
First rule, the project has to be an experiment.
“It has to be something they have practiced and gone through at least three times to collect the data,” Reyes said. “They have to do at least a two-page report getting graphs, data, pictures” to present their results and observations.
“They’re writing an acknowledgement page and thanking everyone who helped them. At the end is a conclusion that answers a question they’ve asked as a theme for the project.”
Reyes is excited to helm the fair for the first time at Weldon and eager to be surprised by the students’ performance.
“I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time,” he said. “I’m excited to see what they come up with and hopefully make this an annual thing.”

– By James Draper

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