Upper School Science Fair gets new look, same great projects
Earlier this week, Mirman School's Jacquelyn Michelle Ross Auditorium was transformed into a scientific symposium as Upper School 2 and 3 students presented their Science Fair projects.
A long-held rite of passage in the Upper School, students work in conjunction with their classmates and teachers to choose a passion project. Often times, they will incorporate other grade levels and community members into their study samples. At the end of their experiment, they then gather together and present their results to their peers, parents, and Mirman faculty and staff.
This year, visitors to the fair noticed a new look as posters were custom hung from the rafters in place of the traditional tri-fold poster board. Explaining the shift, Upper School science teacher Dr. Jay Fisch said: "One of the best skills we can teach our students now is to put together an informative science infographic. These posters allow them to do that and give them more flexibility to play with colors and settings to present data in a more productive and modern way."
Fisch said he was pleased with this year's crop of presentations, noting that students really "dug in to the data" to tell stories about their results and observations. "I appreciated how they were able to understand measuring many variables multiple times and how to put those together to collect averages and compare between groups to really get good answers to some of their research questions."
"The research and techniques are so impressive to me," echoed mathematics teacher Alyssa Wray, who came to visit her many students who participated. "The posters are just beautiful. I think they've done such a great job and it's been a wonderful event so far."
The teaching faculty weren't the only observers in the audience who found the work impressive and interesting. Throughout the day, Lower Schoolers and other Upper School classes came to take in the projects. Spotted on a table just outside the lines of posters, US1 students Lilly S. and Zoe M. were busy filling out a survey about which projects they saw and interpreting what they learned from those projects. "I'm very excited for the science fair next year," said Lilly. "We're supposed to research something we're passionate about, and that's going to be very interesting."
When asked what their favorite projects were from this year, Zoe answered that she enjoyed US2 students' Simone P. and Sky S. project, which sought to answer whether or not adding different colors to bird food would change which food is most attractive to birds (it does). Lilly, meanwhile, was surprised to find out from Isabel S. and Meghan Y. that of several types of sugar tested, cane sugar actually had the most acid, and therefore wasn't beneficial to oral hygiene.
The passion project aspect of the science fair was not lost on US3 student Sydne S., who had a large crowd assembled in front of her poster. Sydne had experimented with different all-natural products such as shea butter, cocoa butter, and beeswax to make her own beauty products. At her table, students could swab different types of lip gloss made by Sydne. "I had made my own balm before, but never with colors," she said. "I found the color that lasted the longest came from Crayola — and I did call the company ahead of time to make sure it was completely non-toxic."
Sydne added that she ended up keeping some of her creations to use on her own. "I liked them that much!"
Congratulations to all our scientists! Based on ratings from faculty, some students will be moving on to the Los Angeles county competition later this spring. The Mirman Newsroom will publish the results as soon as they are available.