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Sharing science

Pupils from the Calderdale Partnership wow the judges with their science fair projects.

Published: 12 November 2021

Last term, the Calderdale Partnership came together to celebrate science in their schools’ science fair, which is set to become a regular fixture on the partnership calendar.

Copley Primary, New Road Primary, St Andrew’s Junior and Norland CE schools all held their own school competitions in July 2021. Five winners were selected from each school to share their science projects at the partnership science fair, which was delayed due to COVID restrictions.

Copley selected a winner from EYFS, KS1, LKS2, UKS2 and a Children’s Choice (an entry that the children visiting the school fair in Summer declared their favourite!) so that the spectrum of entries was very broad. The winners from each of the four schools involved brought their science posters and investigations to Copley and turned the school hall into a giant science lab for the evening!

“The hall was busy with excited children (and parents!) all eager to show their fantastic projects to each other and the judges,” explains partnership co-ordinator and organiser of the science fair, Sarah Hemingway. “The judges were genuinely blown away by the quality of the entries and how confident the children were when talking about their projects. It was such a tricky decision for them to select an overall winner.”

A lady with a clipboard, alongside a man, talk to two children about a science display

Judges talk to the children about their science projects.

The judges, from the Ogden Trust, Ryburn Valley High School and Calderdale Council Education department, eventually declared Evie from New Road Primary School as the overall winner. Her fantastic project on Making Mould really impressed the judges who loved how child-led the project was.

Evie started with an interesting question about where to keep bread in her kitchen so that it stays fresh. Evie had even made her own bread, which she then placed in different conditions to discover where most mould grew. She was astonished to discover that one of the worst places to keep her bread was in a bread bin! Evie was able to talk through all stages of her project and explain how her findings can be applied in real life.

child with a trophy in front of a science display

“This is the first time we have been able to run a partnership science fair and feedback afterwards from all involved was so positive,” says Sarah. “The fair created a buzz of excitement around school and we can’t wait to hold another fair next summer. We feel the children will be even more excited now they have seen so many different projects and how wide the possibilities are!”

Planning a science fair

Science Fairs are a great way to bring partnership schools together. They are relatively low cost and are a popular activity with primary schools in our partnerships. The children are always enthusiastic about their projects and they do fabulous work in researching, presenting and then communicating their investigations. If you are thinking about introducing a Science Fair at your school, you can find the Ogden How to guide on our resources page.

Sarah has also shared some useful ideas:

  • We created a PowerPoint to show the children what a science fair was and what the projects could look like. This was then posted as a video onto the school website and facebook page for parents to see too. We found that this really helped support and guide the parents as to how the children should structure their projects.
  • We provided the children with the large boards to display their work on. We also helped supply resources for children to complete their projects.
  • We found the Ogden Trust guide on running Science fairs very helpful – it helped us plan in advance and keep track on everything we needed to do.

“We have 273 children at the school and had nearly 100 separate projects for just our in-school fair alone. We thought this was amazing and greatly exceeded what we expected. We ran our projects by asking children to do them at home with parents. Another school ran it as an afterschool club as they felt parental support would have been lower.

“We are only just starting our second partnership year now and have added two schools to the partnership. They are already looking forward to joining the science fair at the end of Summer term 2022!”

Applications are now open for new partnerships starting in September 2022. Deadline to apply 1 February 2022.

Visit our partnership pages to find out more and to make your application.

 


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