Science Fair February Update

by Mrs. Nilsen on February 10th, 2014

Weekly Science News 2/3 - 2/7


January has disappeared and just like that, it's mid-February already!  All through January students have been working in their Logbooks.  This year, students are keeping their Logbooks in the back of their Science Notebooks. The following things must be included in student logbooks:
  • Logbook Expectations
  • 4 Parts of the SF Project paper
  • How to evaluate sources pg
  • Project Proposal
  • List of ALL sources
  • A paragraph that evaluates each source
  • Research pages - information about student topic that they find and write down
  • Each part of the experiment, results, data, graphs, etc. (if doing the Experimental project)
  • Rubrics (4 total)

We have been (and will continue) working on the Science Fair in class every FRIDAY from here until the fair.  Logbooks and sources need to be brought to class every FRIDAY and any other days that I designate to work on the science fair.  We will make note of such days in our student planners.

In class, we are working on learning about each of the elements listed above.  We are learning how to evaluate sources, how to find sources (how to actually conduct a "good" internet search or find a book in the library), how to research, how to take notes (in multiple different ways and styles), and so much more.  It is imperative that Logbooks are in class on those days so that students are set up for success when they do their own research at home.  

Friday, Feb. 7th was to be the last week of forced research.  Due to the snowpocalypse, I will be looking at students last pages of notes and sources when we return to school tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb 11th.  If students want/need to keep researching past tomorrow they can; students don't have to stop just because I've stopped tracking their researching.  By all means, research away!

Here's the bottom line - 
By this Tuesday, February 11th:

  • 6th graders should have 5 pages of completed notes and 5 evaluated sources
  • 7th graders should have 10 pages of completed notes and 10 evaluated sources
  • 8th graders should have 15 pages of completed notes and 10 evaluated sources 
A good Logbook gives students a HUGE HEAD START on their paper.

Research Paper

For the next couple of weeks (I know 6th graders started last week for me in ELA) students will use the notes they've gathered to write a research paper about their topic.  Students have already learned so much about their topics!  I can't wait to see the papers they produce.  

Final Paper due – Feb 21

Note: ELA teachers can move this due date if they feel it is appropriate.  Please follow all ELA teacher instructions for your paper.  The due date is set early so that students will have time to complete the rest of the project (see other due dates below).

Looking Forward

Here are the rest of the big due dates for the Science Fair:

Logbooks due - Feb 27th

Final Speech due – Mar 7th

Giving speeches for a grade in science classes Mar 12 – 18th   
 - Students will find out what day they are presenting on Friday, Mar 7th.

Exhibits due - March 18th (this is an updated due date)

Science fair – March 19th  all morning

Feeling Lost?

If you or your child are feeling lost with this project, PLEASE CONTACT ME.  I cannot give extra help if I don't know it's needed.  Any of the following options work:
  • Email - or both work
  • Send an Engrade message.
  • Phone call - 503.829.6672 is the school's number.  I arrive at work by 7:15 am and don't leave until 4:00 or 4:30 pm daily.
  • Stop by - same time frames as above.  I do have lots of meetings scheduled thoughout those times, so you may want to email first to make sure the time is open.
  • I'm available during Homework Club to help any student who needs help for any facet of the project.  HWC is every Tuesday and Thrusday from 3:00 - 4:00 pm.
  • Comment on this post below, or message me through the "Contact" page on this website.  Note:  Comments below are public.
I look forward to helping all of our students through the rest of this intensive, semi-independent project.  Thank you for all you do to help your student be successful.

Posted in Science Updates    Tagged with Science fair, Science notebooks, Technology, Homework, Homework club


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