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Archive for the ‘Science Fair’ Category

Science Fair Final Count-Down

Are You Ready for the Biomimicry Science Fair?

PLEASE E-MAIL ME (McDonaldK@si.edu) THE TOPIC OF YOUR PROJECT AND NAMES OF STUDENTS PARTICIPATING SO I CAN ANTICIPATE HOW MANY STATIONS TO SET UP FOR TRIFOLD DISPLAYS.

Please remember, the biomimicry science fair will be held on:

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26TH (for all classes) at the Mathias Building (see directions below) from 10-11:30 am.

All participants displaying their posters must arrive at least 20 minutes early to set up.

ALL HOME SCHOOLERS ARE INVITED, ALONG WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS. This will also be Ms. Karen’s last home school class so if you would like to come say farewell please join us for the fair.There will be a picnic lunch after the fair, at Noon, in the Reed Center if you’d like to join us. You may also bring a dish to share (please be aware of allergies and avoid nuts).

Directions to the Science Fair:

If you are displaying then when you reach the main SERC campus gate, do not turn down to the water (and the Reed Center), keep going through the front gate and ahead to the next stop sign. Go straight through the stop sign to the traffic circle straight ahead. There you will drop off your display and materials (you’ll see Mrs. Jane there). You may then proceed back to the stop sign and turn left to park in the gravel lot across from the Schmidt Center (red brick building) and then walk over to the new building (along the garden wall and behind the administration building). If you are coming just to see the displays then please proceed to the gravel lot mentioned above.

For those that need information on reference citation here are some sources:

This is an online citation generator that you may use: http://www.easybib.com/

Additionally you can find good information from the Penn State library.

Please contact Ms. Karen if you have any last minute concerns or need additional help.

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How To Prepare For the Science Fair and Final Instructions

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Biomimicry Science Fair Preparation Instructions

The biomimicry science fair will be held:

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26TH (for all classes) at the Mathias Building (see directions below) from 10-11:30 am.

All participants displaying their posters must arrive at least 20 minutes early to set up.

ALL HOME SCHOOLERS ARE INVITED, ALONG WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS. This will also be Mrs. Karen’s last home school class so if you would like to come say farewell please join us for the fair.

Directions to the Science Fair:

If you are displaying then when you reach the main SERC campus gate, do not turn down to the water (and the Reed Center), keep going through the front gate and ahead to the next stop sign. Go straight through the stop sign to the traffic circle straight ahead. There you will drop off your display and materials (you’ll see Mrs. Jane there). You may then proceed back to the stop sign and turn left to park in the gravel lot across from the Schmidt Center (red brick building) and then walk over to the new building (along the garden wall and behind the administration building). If you are coming just to see the displays then please proceed to the gravel lot mentioned above.

Here are some preparatory materials for your students:

Click on the following link for the smart board presentation I used in class for the 8-12’s: Biomimicry science fair prep smart boad presentation. Please remember: 1. Control, 2. Variable, 3. Treatment, 4. Constant AND 5. Replication (repeating your experiments).

Here are the hand-outs for making a trifold display and the content that should be on the posters:

Biomimicry Science Fair Poster Requirement 5-7 yr. olds

Biomimicry Science Fair Poster Requirements 8-12 yr.

If you are looking for help with your poster, or need advice you can certainly call me (Karen) or E-mail (McDonaldK@si.edu). Also check out the website from our friend Maille Lyons, the Science Fair Coach.

HOME SCHOOL CLASS FOR PARENTS (is still on): There is Still Room (and Time) to Sign Up

During the weeks when students are working on their science fair projects we are still offering our program for parents.

Special Class:

Science Resources for Home School Parents (February 19th, 10 am-11:30 am)

At SERC we receive many requests regarding the types of microscopes we use, where to buy dissection organisms, how to find age appropriate teaching materials, and science resources. In this course our educators will work together to help you find the resources you need to teach science at home, either to complement our home school classes or if you’re working independently. ($14/person, meet at the Reed Center) To register click here.

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Biomimicry Science Fair Updates for This Week and a Weather Update

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Morpho butterfly, studied in biomimicry for how its wings reflect light (Photo: Wiki commons).

For those in the biomimicry science fair block of classes please remember that parents are required to attend this week’s class.

If you have not checked out the blog post about what students need to bring or prepare for class please do so ASAP!

WEATHER NOTE:

If the weather is inclement tomorrow, and SERC is delayed in opening, then please bring your student(s) to either the later class on Wednesday or any class on Thursday. There will be no time for a make-up class. If we do end up having delays and you can’t make any of the times then I will consult with you outside of class about your projects. E-mail me and let me know. All of this is contingent on weather so please check the blog or your e-mail for any announcements.

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Biomimicry Science Fair Project Choice, Assignment, and Pre-Class Materials

I know some of you have yet to make up the first class, missed due to snow; however, I wanted to go ahead and post the following materials for those that attended class today (Thursday 23rd). If you are attending the make-up class next week then please do not read ahead until after you attend class on the 29th.

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT ALL PARENTS MUST ATTEND THE SECOND CLASS ON EITHER FEBRUARY 5TH OR 6TH.

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CHOOSING A BIOMIMICRY PROJECT

As you know your student will be choosing a biomimicry project for their science fair display.

For 5-7 year old students: the students may choose a project where they research a human problem and the animal/plant that solves a similar problem. They may then design a model, using the creatures key features, and present this as their project. Models should be fairly large, at least the size of a shoe box or larger.

For 8-12 year old students: the students will also choose a project where they research a human problem and the animal/plant that solves a similar problem. Not only will they design and build a solution but they must also test their design using replication and control. This age group will be responsible for data collection and making graphs (line or bar).

Both age groups will be required to develop a hypothesis and present a trifold poster. In the second class I will go over, in more detail, how the poster should be arranged and laid out.

WHERE DO I FIND RESOURCES?

  • biomimicry science fair ideas This document I put together with many different biomimicry science fair ideas that should be doable for the different age groups. These ideas are not set in stone and can be changed or modified. Each idea has “younger,” “older,” or “all ages” next to the title. This tells you if it’s suited for 5-7’s, 8-12’s or all ages 5-12.
  • Ask Nature is the Biomimicry Institute’s website for ideas about problem solving using nature. Type in either the animal/plant you’re interested in or the problem you want to solve, such as “climbing” or “self cleaning.”

FOR NEXT CLASS:

Students of both age groups must come to class with the following:

  • A question they want to answer about a human problem and an animal or plant solution.
  • Some basic research about their chosen plant or animal
  • A hypothesis they want to test (or for younger students a model to build)
  • Experimental Design (rough) based on the plant or animal they want to study. For younger students this will be the design of their invention.

FOR THOSE THAT WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE POSTERS WILL LOOK LIKE

In the second class I will be going over scientific design with each parent and student, as well as discussing with the entire class, how to create their posters for display. For older students I will focus on replication and controls.

Here is a document that outlines what the posters will look like: SERC Home School Biomimicry Science Fair Poster Requirements

Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions McDonaldK@si.edu.

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Pre-Class Study Materials for the Home School Biomimicry Science Fair

Biomimicry Science Fair Pre-Class Materials

Next week will begin the first class of our Biomimicry science fair. Please remember that parents will be required to attend the SECOND class on February 5th or 6th about choosing a project topic. You are also welcome to sit in on the first class (January 22nd or 23d) if you wish to get a clearer understanding of the field of biomimicry and how it pertains to the research project the students will be conducting.

PLEASE REMEMBER TO ARRIVE ON TIME TO CLASS. LATE ARRIVALS ARE DISRUPTIVE AND IN SOME CASES MAY CAUSE UNSAFE CONDITIONS WHEN WE’RE WORKING WITH LABORATORY MATERIALS.

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Students participating in a previous SERC Biomimicry science Fair

Vocabulary:

  • Biomimicry
  • Scientific method
  • Hypothesis
  • Experiment
  • Variable
  • Control
  • Experimental design
  • Replication
  • Observation
  • Data
  • Conclusion

For All Ages (5-12):

http://www.ted.com/talks/janine_benyus_biomimicry_in_action.html Start with this (11 min.) video from the founder of the Biomimicry Institute.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXA4ox1rY80 Here’s a documentary by the BBC and David Attenborough all about how people are mimicking the climbing powers of Geckos.

http://studyjams.scholastic.com/studyjams/jams/science/scientific-inquiry/scientific-methods.htm visit the Scholastic page to learn about the process of the scientific method. You can also take their quiz about the scientific method here: http://studyjams.scholastic.com/studyjams/jams/science/scientific-inquiry/scientific-methods.htm (best for 8-12 yr. old kids)

For ages 8-12 yrs.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/when-animals-inspire-inventions-59895396/ this is a nice short article, from the Smithsonian, about biomimicry.

http://www.asknature.org/ Visit the “Ask Nature” portal and type in a problem that you might want to solve, such as “cooling a house” or “climbing” or even something like “keeping clean.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyFi6BQfDik a short catchy video parody of Gangnam style about the scientific method.

http://66.39.52.159/ddavis/PSif0001.bmp This is a bmp file (image) so you’ll have to print it directly (this is the home page: http://66.39.52.159/ddavis/PSif0001.bmp). Please have students complete this worksheet and matching before class.

For 5-7 yrs.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4406699/Scientific%20Method%20Cards%20GW.pdf These are printable cards that students can use to lay out the steps of the scientific method.

Optional:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neeP9v_x3os this is the first in a series of 4 videos (about 15 minutes each) called Nature Tech: the Materials World (BBC), which explores the materials that nature is made out of and how humans are studying it.

For Parents (just because it’s funny)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2MhMsLn9B0 Monty Python scientific method video (5 min)

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