The annual science fair is the most successful collaborative enrichment activity of the Leamington Spa Primary Partnership, which is led by Jane Catto, from Briar Hill Infant School. Their first fair was held in 2014 and it continues to thrive and surprise each year. Jane Catto tells us more about this year’s event and gives her top tips if you are thinking about running your own fair.
Children from 11 partnership schools across the region gathered excitedly with their science projects at the University of Warwick. These were the winners of their own school science fairs and they came to both celebrate their love of science and be inspired into even greater future aspirations.
Armed with their own investigations, that had been completed at home and shared in schools, the children set up their projects in the new Occulus lecture theatre at Warwick and spent the morning explaining them to very encouraging judges, demonstrating their depth of understanding and being inspired by the professionals who wanted to find out more.
The children also completed a range of science workshop activities, such as trying to balance marbles in plasticine boats, drive cars around a track using magnets and make observations of bugs using microscopes.
After lunch the children were treated to a fantastic science show on space by the wonderful Dr Jenny Watson, before finding out just who had won the sparkly trophies – which were collected in front of cheering school friends. There was a calm, but excited atmosphere all day and the children, proudly wearing their medals, took their projects back home, full of smiles.
“This is my favourite day of work all year” said Ally Caldecote from the University of Warwick – who made it all happen. “Every time I hear judges saying that they have learned more science from the children – experiments that they want to go home and try out!”
- Be organised – make goody bags for each school which include medals, trophies, stickers (to place on their favourite project from another school) evaluation forms and a packet of biscuits for snack time! These are then easy to hand to each teacher on arrival.
- Divide your group into two halves so some can enjoy workshops or a tour of the university while the others are having their projects judged. This saves on waiting around time. 😊
- Book a great speaker to give a science talk/show. Inspiring children with science in a university setting creates memories and aspirations – who knows what their futures might hold!