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Research a key to Science Fair success

Research a key to Science Fair success

Science Fair allows students to apply the research skills that they have been building since the primary grades in the library and language arts classes. Jennifer Gray City Day Librarian

 

It's Science Fair season at Chicago City Day School, and that means students are sharpening their research skills. 

Science Fair is an annual noncompetitive event at City Day that requires students in senior kindergarten through grade 6 to design a science experiment and test a hypothesis. After spending several weeks completing the experiment and recording their findings, students present their work publicly to classmates, teachers, and parents at school.

Research is a key component of the Science Fair process. Students have to read and gather data about the scientific concepts their experiments are based on, and they have to document their sources in a report. 

"Just like real scientists," said Jennifer Gray, City Day's librarian.

Mrs. Gray, together with homeroom and science teachers, works with students during the early part of Science Fair on all aspects of the research process. She talks to students about how to find information, how to take notes on nonfiction texts, how to evaluate the quality of sources, how to properly format a bibliography, and more.

These efforts support City Day's general focus on research, which is threaded throughout the school's academic program.

"Science Fair allows students to apply the research skills that they have been building since the primary grades in the library and language arts classes," Mrs. Gray said. "Our curriculum is designed in a way that introduces basic skills in the early grades, and then each year, those skills are reinforced and built upon. By the time our students graduate, they are ready to face high school research challenges."

Students will present their Science Fair projects to the community in March. As part of the event, seventh-graders will participate in the popular Egg Drop, during which the students test the protective structures they built to keep eggs from cracking. City Day eighth-graders don't participate in Science Fair; instead, they present findings on water quality to the Friends of the Chicago River Student Congress.

Below, see photos of students starting their research in the library.

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