2/15/12

Inquisitive Island Minds

WorldTeach American Samoa volunteer Cat takes a look at her elementary schools students' creative approaches to scientific inquiry during the school science fair.

Our school-wide science fair was held on Thursday. One of my students and two of Erin’s placed and will be flying to Tutuila in March for the island-wide science competition. Six students competed in the lower-levels, and there were thirty students in the upper-level competition. My kids worked really hard on their experiments and their poster-boards; I felt like a proud parent watching them all demonstrate for the judges!

Clicking Coin
This is the winning project for my class. It’s actually pretty cute and the kids were amazed. You just put a glass bottle in the freezer for a few minutes, then take it out, wet a quarter, and cover the mouth of the bottle with the quarter. As the air inside the bottle warms up, it expands and tries to escape the jar, which makes the quarter on the top of the bottle bounce up and down. Cuteness. (The bottle she used for her presentation is probably the most common object you’ll see on our island–a 24oz Vailima bottle.)

M&M Math
I loved this project. He just counted the colors of M&Ms in several packs to see if one color is more prevalent than another, then made some charts of his data (a bar graph and a “pizza” chart). Very simple idea but super fun for a kid. Plus, you get to eat your materials when you’re done! (Green 20%, blue 18%, brown, yellow, and orange 15%, and red 13%)

Magic Balloon
Her project was about static electricity and balloons. It was a good idea but a little too advanced for second grade (their parents typically chose their projects).

Camoflauge Ants
Another cute kid with a cute board! She tried to figure out if it’s easier to see red and black ants in red or black soil. (I know, very simple, but it’s still a lot of confusing work for a kid!)

I am so proud of my kids for all the effort they put into their projects. They had a lot of fun doing it and I’m sure they are going to participate in the science fair next year, which is the whole point. I never liked science when I was a kid so I’m very happy to see them getting so excited about science.

Are you interested in teaching in American Samoa? Click here to learn more! WorldTeach also offers many programs where you have the opportunity to teach math or science. Check out worldteach.org for all the information!

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