Goddard School students are diving into science and math learning during this special week of experiments.
Two Goddard Schools in the area, Uniontown and Jackson Township, will host a science fair open house to teach kids scientific principles through playful experiments. Parents are welcome to attend the science fair which runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Friday.
The event aims to help children collaborate and be creative as they think critically about the experiments.
The Goddard School focuses on early childhood development under the philosophical idea that young children learn best through play and fun activities, said Rick Beechy, owner of the Goddard School in Uniontown.
The science fair week will incorporate children of all ages from infants to kindergarten-aged students. At a young age, children are more visual learners than auditory learners and can be shown scientific concepts through simple experiments, Beechy said.
“It’s basically to give the kids more of an interest and learning in STEAM,” Beechy said.
STEAM is an acronym standing for science, technology, engineering, art and math.
One experiment the children will participate in demonstrates how plants intake water and transports it to leaves.
Students will put celery stalks into colored water and observe them throughout the week to see how the color went up through the stem of the celery stalk and into the leaves.
“It’s an activity that we can show the children how it works, which is much better for children in this age group,” Beechy said.
The children at the Uniontown School will also do an experiment called “dancing raisins.” The students will be able to drop raisins into Sprite and watch as they sink to the bottom of the glass then float back to the top then back down again.
The movement of the raisins shows how the raisins are denser than the soda, yet the carbonation is able to push the raisins up to the surface of the Sprite.
Though children may not understand what density is at such a young age, through the dancing raisins they will able to grasp the idea that the raisins were heavier than the pop and the bubbles, which causes it to sink to the bottom.
“Everything that we’re going to be doing will be an important part of their life as they get older,” Beechy said.
Though the scientific ideas are put in terms children can understand, these ideas represent concepts the children will learn in more detail as they grow and move toward high school.
JACKSON TOWNSHIP LOCATION
The Goddard School in Jackson Township will also host a science fair this week demonstrating the idea of STEAM and teaching children through playful activities.
“It’s all about getting the kids involved,” said Karen Marinos, owner of the Goddard School in Jackson Township.
The students will participate in an experiment similar to the celery stalk experiment the Uniontown School will be doing except Jackson will be using lettuce leaves.
Marinos said she wants to focus on the scientific method by having the children state a hypothesis or what each of them thinks will happen to the lettuce as it sits in colored water over time.
Students will observe, touch, smell and describe the lettuce to help them draw conclusions. They will record their results and draw more conclusions as they continue to observe the lettuce.
“I thought it was a good activity because it’s very observable,” Marinos said.
The students will also participate in an experiment called “chromatography science,” which will demonstrate to the kids how colors separate.
The children will take a coffee filter and draw a circle in the center before folding it in half twice and placing it in water. The water will absorb into the coffee filter and show the different colors used in that marker.
The students will be able to predict what colors are in the marker by coloring what they think the coffee filter will look like at the end of the experiment.
“We want them to discover things on their own,” Marinos said.
Some of the experiments will be geared more toward the younger groups as well. For example, the toddlers will be learning about liquids and solids through an ice cube experiment. The young students will be able to visually see how rock salt melts ice cubes.
Parents are welcome to attend throughout the week though the Jackson Township School has a specific date set for 10 a.m. March 20 for the parents to participate in the chromatography experiment.
The Goddard School is also offering a promotion during the science fair. Any parent who registers his or her child during the science fair open house will receive $100 off the first month’s tuition.