STEM Fair 2018

The 2018 STEM Fair will be held on Friday March 16th.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The STEM Fair is our annual science event where kids from all grades have an opportunity to show off science-related projects, and participate in hands-on activities. All level projects are welcome and encouraged. The planned hands-on activities the popular cardboard challenge from last year, making slime, making a bouncy ball and hovercraft rides. The purpose of the fair is to cultivate a curiosity and love of science and all the other disciplines that are part of STEM. There are no prizes, all students displaying projects will receive a t-shirt and personalized certificate.

In addition to displaying projects, students have an opportunity to participate in a specific STEM challenge. This year we will be doing the popsicle bridge challenge from last year, because it was so well received and we want to give more students a change to participate. Rules are posted below.

Registration and Volunteers

Registration: Registration to display a project or participate in the STEM challenge is now open through February 12, 2018 via Community Pass. Registration link: Click here to open Community Pass. Browse Activities -> HES STEM Fair 2018.

Volunteers: Please consider volunteering to help out during a short shift. Your child’s presentation time will be scheduled to not overlap with volunteer slot. If you sign up to volunteer before February 16th, please email Leigh Strachan at LStrachan@me.com with any requests for your child’s presentation time. Requests can only be taken from volunteers. Sign up Link: www.SignUpGenius.com/go/508054DA9AE2DA2FB6-2018.

STEM Fair Challenge: Popsicle Stick Bridge

Can you build the strongest bridge using only popsicle sticks? In this fun challenge, students bring in a bridge built at home following the rules below. How much weight can these bridges hold? Sign up and find out.

Goal: To build the strongest possible bridge using wooden Popsicle sticks.

Materials:

  • No more than 150 Popsicle sticks (Available at craft stores (4 1/2 x 3/8 x 1/12 in.)
  • Elmer’s white glue.
  • Popsicle sticks can be colored with markers, but NO paint or stain.

Dimensions/ Specifications:

  • The bridge must span a 14” gap – this means that it should be at least 16” long at the base.
  • The bridge must have a driving deck to allow for a matchbox car to cross.
  • Clearance should be at least 2”x 2” in the center of the bridge to allow space for placement of testing weights.
  • The bridges are allowed to have a truss system on top, the testing weights will be placed on top.
  • Total height at tallest point should be no higher than 6”

Contest Rules:

  • Participants have to register in advance using Community Pass. No walk-ins will be allowed.
  • Student’s can participate in the challenge without displaying a project. There is no fee for participating in the STEM Challenge.
  • Upon checking in, the bridge will be examined for compliance with the rules.
  • During judging, test loads will be applied to the bridge deck until the bridge breaks or buckles by 2”. The weight that breaks the bridge is the breaking load.
  • All bridges will be destroyed during testing!
  • Must be done individually. Not a team or group project.

Basics for Participating in the STEM Fair

  • Registration will occur through community pass. At that time you will have the opportunity to register to display a project, take part in the STEM challenge or both. Students can do the STEM challenge without registering to display a project (note that only students displaying a project will receive the t-shirt and certificate). A registration needs to be completed for each student participating. For families with multiple children participating, there will be an option to check that siblings will also be participating so they can be placed at adjacent spots at the fair.
  • Each student that registers will have 1/2 of a 6 foot table to display their project. Except for siblings, the person who shares the table is random.
  • Students may display their project anyway that works best, but the majority find using the trifold poster board to be useful as it can stand on its own.
  • Displays can be handwritten or typed. It is better to be the student’s best try then to be perfect!
  • Any type of science based display is welcome. The internet is a great source of ideas. Searching something like ‘elementary school science fair projects’ is useful to start getting ideas.
  • For students looking to do a more structured STEM project, where the project has a testable question or problem identified, some guidelines can be found in the STEM Fair workbook that was created for the 2017 STEM Fair. Download HES STEM Fair workbook
  • In the week before the science fair, the students registered to display a project will receive a packet with their t-shirt and important information. The letter will indicate when doors will open for setup, the assigned display spot, and the time scheduled for the student presentation. If a registered student does not receive their packet by Wednesday March 14th, please contact Leigh Strachan at LStrachan@me.com.
  • The student presentation is the best part. At an assigned time, a teacher, administrator or outside volunteer in a STEM field will visit the student’s display. The student has an opportunity to tell the evaluator about their project and show any demonstrations they have prepared. The evaluator will ask some questions as appropriate. While it is great for the student to practice what they are going to say before hand, this is meant to be a low stress opportunity to show off their work. Students who may need more help getting started, may want to write down what they want to say on index cards in case they need the prompt. The evaluators only have about 5 minutes to visit each display, so please remember this when preparing. At the end of the time, the evaluator will give the student their certificate.
  • Displays are taken home at the end of the evening.
  • Any Questions, please reach out to Leigh Strachan at LStrachan@me.com