PCS Science Fair set for January
Jennifer Gonzalez, middle school science teacher at Perkins County Schools, has organized a science fair set for Friday, Jan. 15.
As the sole organizer, Gonzalez has been planning the event since August.
She feels it is important for students to participate in science fairs as a way for them to learn how to understand the scientific process and how to apply it.
“As 21st century citizens, students have to make some of the toughest decisions based on their understanding of emerging science and technology,” Gonzalez said. “Science fair involves students in the practices of science and engineering, requiring them to apply those skills to a topic of interest to them.”
“Doing science is key to understanding science,” she added.
The science fair will be required for all seventh and eighth grade students in Perkins County, and they have been working on preparing their projects since September.
According to Gonzalez, every Friday is coined “Genius Hour” in class and has been used for working on science fair projects and reports.
The top three students from each grade will earn the right to continue on to the Western Regional science fair, and Gonzalez plans to take students who place in the top 10 if they choose to continue their projects.
Students who go on to perform at the Regional and State Science Fairs are also eligible for prizes to include scholarship money.
Gonzalez said she hopes the science fair helps students develop a deeper understanding of how science applies to the real world using the scientific method and engineering design process to answer or solve questions.
They also gain experience in public speaking, which Gonzalez feels is a 21st century skill needed by all students.
Masks will be required at the event when working in groups where social distancing cannot be maintained. Students will wear their masks during presentations.
Projects will be placed at a minimum of six feet apart in Pritchett Gym during the science fair.
If necessary due to potential changes in COVID restrictions within the next month, Gonzalez said they have plans for a virtual fair in which students will submit a recording of their presentation for the judges.
“Hopefully, I have anticipated and planned for all possible problems,” she said.
Gonzalez is in search of judges to help listen to and score students’ projects on Jan. 15.
The fair will be held from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. with lunch to follow.
“As a judge, we would like you to use your expertise in determining how well our students demonstrate their science learning while using the scientific method or engineering design process,” Gonzalez said.
Everything judges need to know about the event will be explained during breakfast at the judges meeting before hearing the presentations.
Any help is appreciated, Gonzalez added, whether it is in the form of judging, contributing food for the judges or even contributing to prize winnings.
Those interested in helping with the science fair should contact Mrs. Gonzalez at firstname.lastname@example.org. She asks that names and contact information are included in the email.
A google document is also set up for those who wish to sign up that way: https://forms.gle/k6uNNckhcNk5kt5AA