PACA DIGITAL SCIENCE- STEM FAIR 2021
The middle school students of PACA have been working very hard to have projects to present to the PACA community. With the advent of the pandemic, some changes were made to allow our students to experience the process of working on a project and presenting it to the school community within limited resources and also to maintain safety of their families. The students rose to the challenge and have produced projects that show their learning and skills in spite of the pandemic. Here is a summary of each middle school class’s work.
6th grade: Dyes Project
Every year, sixth graders study dyes: uses, types, history, and the process of dyeing materials. This year the students began their journey on the discovery of dyes through dyeing a face mask. They then researched about dyes, fabrics and mordants (the substance that allows a dye to “stick”) and wrote short essays about their learning. Students then each conducted an experiment manipulating a variable of their choice related to the dyes process. All materials were chosen from things available at home. They each present the results of their experiments in a short narrated video with a power point to guide the viewer in their process.
7th and 8th grade: STEM projects – Science Technology Engineering Math
This year students in the seventh and eighth grades completed a STEM project. Each class was given a selection of STEM challenges to choose from. There were a maximum of 4 students per a project challenge. These students were placed in groups where they could exchange ideas and thoughts on their particular challenge. Each student researched their challenge and wrote a short essay of their findings. All students also made a model or prototype to represent the solution to the problem within each challenge. Eighth grade students had the additional challenge to build their prototypes within a budget as compared to the real world. Due to the pandemic, students had to adapt to using materials available at home and limited testing opportunities. All students have made a video presenting their final solutions to their own STEM challenges and produced a power point that supports their work.
6th grade Dyes project variable choices:
• Dye substances – foods (fruits, vegetables, teas, etc. )
• Materials (cotton, string, eggs, etc. )
• Mordants – natural available at home
• Dye process changes (order, time, washing, wet/ dry, etc. )
7th grade STEM challenge options:
• A touch of nature - Ecosystema
• Big, Bigger, Biggest - Redwoods and Sequoias
• Create a home - Bird house
• In the mist – Gorilla habitat
• Sunny-side Up – Solar ovens
8th grade STEM challenge options:
• Rocket Launch – Create a rocket
• Inhabit Mars – Build a landing device
• Skydive – Design a parachute
• Seismic Catastrophe – Earthquake proof home
• Storm the Castle – Catapults
• Marble madness – Obstacle course