Dear Parents,

 It is already time to start thinking about those Science Fair projects again for the Hopedale Memorial Elementary School 2019 Science Fair, presented by P.A.C.E.! The Science Fair has grown to be an amazing event, showcasing the creative and analytical talents of Hopedale’s young scientists!

Why Participate in the Science Fair?

The Science Fair has produced hundreds of amazing projects over the years, each one helping student scientists to explore a topic in greater detail than they would ordinarily do in class. In addition, completing the Science Fair project has the following benefits:

  •  Reinforcement of grade-level science, math, and literacy skills

  •  Introduction to organizational skills required for a larger project

  •  Oral and written communication skills

  •  Artistic skills: new this year will be an additional award for those presentations that were especially creative or   aesthetically beautiful!

  •  Making science fun by focusing on a subject important to the scientist!

The Role of Parents

The role of parents varies for each grade level, and should decrease as the scientists progress into the upper grades.

For K-1st grade, parents are partners and should be working with their scientist throughout the project. This includes guiding them through the topic selection and question formulation, helping with the project, and assisting with the report and display.

For 2nd-3rd grade, parents should be a consultant. This means asking questions of the scientist about the topic and project, reviewing it to make sure it follows the proper format, and making suggestions if parts of the project are unclear.

For 4th-6th grade, parents should be cheerleaders! Encourage your budding scientist to dive into the project, and be there as a resource if they need help with time management or proofreading.

In addition, for all grade levels, encourage your scientist to present their project to parents, friends, grandparents, siblings, etc. before the fair. It gives them a chance to show off all their hard work, and helps them to practice what they will say during the judging.

To Team or Not to Team?

Projects can be individual or in teams of up to three students. If forming a team, discuss with potential teammates a weekly or biweekly meeting schedule. In the past, teams have disbanded due to inability to meet, so make sure everyone is realis-tic about the time they are able to commit. Teams can be made up of scientists from different grades. However, the project will be judged in the highest grade level represented. Be sure to indicate all team members on one form.

How to Choose a Topic

The topic is an important part of the Science Fair! Start by having your scientist write down a list of science-related topics your she or he may be interested in. This is where your scientist needs to think big! Consider food science, plants, astronomy, natural science, chemical reactions, physics, engineering, anatomy, human behavior, environmental science and more! Visit www.ScienceBuddies.com for additional ideas and for ways to take the topics and make them into projects. Scientists have the option to do an experiment, collection, research project, or invention. Be sure to review the guidelines of each type of project on the P.A.C.E. website.

What’s next?

Return the attached Project Selection Form by Friday, February 1st. You will receive a confirmation email in February. Once your scientist selects the type of project, go to the P.A.C.E. website to download the guidelines and judging score sheet for that project type. Project drop-off is on Thursday, April 4th from 7pm to 8pm, Memorial students will visit the fair Friday during the day, and judging is on Friday afternoon. Awards are awarded Friday evening at 7pm. You will receive an-other email in March with the judging time assignment.

Feel free to reach out to David Hodgdon (davidhodgdon@hotmail.com OR  call/text 508-246-8311.

I am happy to help, especially for those doing the fair for the first time!