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How-To: Teach Elementary Science

Science Technology Family Night
Natasha Cooke-Nieves

 Math/Science/Technology Family Night

I usually have one night during Science Fair week where the families of my students can come in to view the displayed projects.  Math and science activity and game tables are set-up. Some examples include:

  • Observation Table - microscopes, slides and plant specimens for viewing
  • Symmetry Table - poster paint, tape, and paper. Make a design on one side and fold paper. Post around event space with tape to allow for maximum drying. Remind the artist to take down their piece before leaving.
  • Planting Table - soil, small cardboard planters, seeds, water, marker to write name on planter
  • Tangrams Table - Create a (symmetrical) design using tangram pieces
  • Lego Blocks on Floor - Place blocks on a mat for the younger siblings and Pre-K visitors to enjoy building
  • Jewelry Table - Beads, threading cord, safety scissors- Create bracelets and necklaces with a simple knot at the end of the string
  • Magnets Table - place an assortment of different metal and non-metal objects on the table along with different kinds of magnets (horseshoe, bar, marble, even lodestone) and have the visitors see which attracts and which doesn’t attract.
  • Game 24 Table with Chairs - Set up 2-3 games of 24 for your high level learners to sit, concentrate, and play (www.24game.com)

Get your students to be in charge of the tables. Keep them after school. Feed them a pizza dinner! Explain what they are to do at each table and they can help you set up the tables and be the ‘table monitor’ all night.

  • Food Table - Always a Fundraising Opportunity- get parents to sell baked goods, juice, water (try to have it donated from local bakeries and even your local supermarket-all it takes is a friendly note on school letterhead with your principal’s signature so they can keep it for tax purposes. And a thank you letter from the children wouldn’t hurt after the donation is given!)
  • Registration Table - Always a Fundraising Opportunity- “Charge” a $1 donation for children, $2 donation (or whatever you like). Usually people tend to donate more than what is written if you just let them know where the funds will be allocated to (i.e. “Science Materials Fund”)
  • Presentation Podium/Long Table - A podium (or a microphone) and  a long table are set up under a large sign in the center of the event space to allow students to present their science fair project. ANY student can sign up when they enter the event to present. I usually allow an hour to an hour of 2-3 minute presentations. It doesn’t matter if they won in their grade level or not. Its just time for the children to show off their hard work to their visiting families and for your children who love to talk to give an oral presentation. The project is placed up on the table and after a quick explanation (no need to read the entire board), they show how the display works/worked.

Questions or comments? E-mail me.


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