The Science Fair season got underway at Springhill Elementary last week with nearly 300 students exhibiting a wide variety of innovative experiments at the school’s LPIE Science Fair.
While the turnout of families and students attending the event was impressive, the quality and creativity of the students’ exhibits were even more remarkable, said Lisa Adams, LPIE Science Instructor and chairperson for Springhill’s Science Fair.
“The kids put forethought and huge effort into their projects and it showed,” said Adams.
The LPIE Science Fairs are an opportunity for students to do projects on their own or in a group using the scientific method. Students are encouraged to come up with a question or a theory about something they’re interested in, and perform experiments, track data, and come up with a conclusion.
Even if the results of the experiment don’t align with what the students predict, the process of going through the steps of the method provides a valuable learning experience for them.
“Not only did students learn something in the process; they had fun,” said Adams of Springhill’s fair. “Those are the memories they can carry on.”
Among the exhibits, one student created a sneaker that lit up. Another group made their own lava lamps. Some measured the effect of solar power and magnets while another measured the sugar content in different types of bread.
Springhill 4th grader Zack Roder poses with his Science Fair project.
Students and parents alike said they enjoyed the fair, which included food vendors such as Pancoast Pizza, a Lego exhibit from Play-Well TEKnologies, building rockets with Rocket Doctor, bats from NorCal Bats and a world of orthodontia display from Cobain Orthodontics.
Springhill 4th graders Campbell Evans and Taylor Mikilas said the bats and the Lego exhibits were among their favorite things at the Science Fair.
Parents also were impressed with the creativity the students showed in their experiments.
"This evening is always so much fun; the kids just light up when they talk about their projects!” said Springhill parent Sarah Sparkman. “And I never knew that slime could be made in so many ways!"
Springhill’s fair was the first of the four elementary school LPIE Science Fairs. Lafayette Elementary’s will be held on March 9th, Burton Valley’s on March 22nd and Happy Valley’s on March 23rd. Each fair has a similar format, with student projects on display along with displays from visiting exhibitors, food vendors, and LPIE “Scientists” walking around in lab coats to discuss the experiments with students.
Students and parents looking for ideas or inspiration for projects can check out this list or resources on LPIE's Science Fair page.