T’s First School and District Science Fair ROCKED!

While I’ve shared photos on Instagram and Twitter all along over the last three months, today I’m compiling and sharing a photographic timeline of T’s science fair project experience this season!

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Wow, I just noticed that typo on the cover of this year’s district science fair program. Our district’s fair is so advanced we’ve even mastered time travel(!).

Who’d have thought that a casual conversation over dinner one night in March between T and his dad would turn into not just a science fair experiment one weekend but also into an eligible science fair project entry for our school’s science fair and – even more surprising – a selection for our District’s Science Fair?!

T washing rocks for his science fair project.

T washing rocks for his science fair project.

C helped T pour the rocks for his science fair project.

C helped T pour the rocks for his science fair project.

T used water to measure the pore space (AKA air) between the rocks and sand.

T used water to measure the pore space (AKA air) between the rocks and sand.

14.5 be careful not to go over 1000ml line

T even wrote down all the measurements and did the math for the tables and graphs for his science fair project!

T even wrote down all the measurements and did the math for the tables and graphs for his science fair project!

T’s project was entitled, “Measuring Volumes of Rocks and Sands.” It involved a lot of heavy sand, rock, water, pouring, measuring, glass jars, record-keeping, math, time, and, of course, patience. C’s involvement and investment in all tasks were vast. He helped T hands-on with much of the experimentation itself and saw that through from beginning to end. I was there to take pictures for posterity’s (and this blog’s) sake and for the project itself. I also was there to act as scribe and secretary once the report-writing process came along, which took a few weeknights of family meeting time, about a dozen pages of typeface, and a hyper-vigilant adherence to not just the scientific process but also to these guidelines and to the District’s rubric.

T's finished science fair project display before taking it into school.

T’s finished science fair project display before taking it into school.

Oh, I also was an integral team player in the construction of this beautiful backboard also… not that I’m biased or anything, of course.

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Then came time for T to gather everything up and haul it into school for display in the school fair on Monday April 7. I helped there, too. Just for your own reference, doing a science fair project involving rocks and sand can be a heavy undertaking, especially during transport and set-up, so you’ve been forewarned. I am sad I didn’t take more photos of the 60+ projects on display there (the school got about 15-20 percent student participation!), but I did get this one of T in front of his project after setting up.

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The next time we heard anything about science fair was at assembly three weeks later. To say I was surprised to hear T’s name called as one of three Kindergarteners (of about 10-15 Kinder projects entered) and as one of 18 overall selected to represent our school at the Long Beach Unified School District’s (LBUSD’s) 19th Annual District Science Fair would be a lie. I was shocked. We parents had no advance warning of who’d been chosen, so this was a true surprise not just for T but for me as well! There are so few true surprises these days, so I relished in it, as did T. I was just sorry C couldn’t be there to see T up front at assembly that morning, but again, I overcame my shock and stepped up as family photographer to capture the moment.

The 19th Annual LBUSD District Science Fair was held at Cabrillo High School.

The 19th Annual LBUSD District Science Fair was held at Cabrillo High School.

T in his district science fair T-shirt!

T in his district science fair T-shirt!

C helping T set up his project at District.

C helping T set up his project at District.

T's ready!

T’s ready!

View from the entrance of our exhibit hall (our school in the front row).

View from the entrance of our exhibit hall. You can see T’s project on the far right in this photo.

LBUSD’s District Fair was the morning of Saturday May 17. Our school had a great location in the smaller of the two display halls (up front and near the doors for both showing off and for coolest temperatures in the warm weather we were experiencing at the time). We were easy to find and made it easy for the kids to come and go outside as they got restless for waiting their turn for their review period.

CSULB's Mobile Science Museum came to LBUSD's District Science Fair this May to help entertain and educate students, parents, and teachers about a variety of Earth, physical, and other areas of scientific study.

CSULB’s Mobile Science Museum came to Long Beach Unified’s District Science Fair this May to help entertain and educate students, parents, and teachers about a variety of biological, physical, and other genres of scientific study.

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That's poo, T. All kinds of models of animal poo. But the kids loved it as they waited their turn at this year's district science fair.

That’s poo, T. All kinds of models of animal poo. But the kids loved that and more as they waited their turn at this year’s district science fair.

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There were a TON of organizations and groups who came to help keep the kids entertained. Long Beach State rolled in with their Mobile Science Museum, which set up right outside the doors to our exhibit hall. T and his buddies (mostly other Kinder classmates, either exhibitors themselves or siblings to older students involved) found plenty to keep busy and pass the time.

T running the soccer robots at Shared Science's booth during LBUSD's district science fair.

T running the soccer robots at Shared Science’s booth during LBUSD’s district science fair.

T played LEGO bingo...

T played LEGO bingo…

... and T won LEGO bingo!

… and T won LEGO bingo!

Snakes and friends, together at last, at this year's district science fair.

Snakes and friends, together at last, at this year’s district science fair.

The other exhibit hall also had a variety of activities for all the kids to see and do, too, including a booth sponsored by Shared Science with LEGO bingo and robotics soccer competitions. T and his friend even got to hold a snake!

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Of course, T and his friend took an interest in this project. Duh.

Of course, T and his friend took an interest in this project. Duh.

This was one of the projects done by a friend of T's.

This was one of the projects done by an old friend of T’s. They’ve come a long way since toddler-hood!

This project was done by one of T's teammates. It took me a moment to realize this entire project was done in Spanish, and then I realized T's friend attends a Spanish immersion school.

This project was done by one of T’s teammates. It took me a moment to realize this entire project was done in Spanish, and then I realized T’s friend attends a Spanish immersion school where most if not all the projects (or portions of) were presented in at least some Spanish language.

All students had plenty of time to look at the other projects on display throughout the fair, too. We also ran into a bunch of T’s friends entered in the fair by their own schools, friends who we’ve known through a variety of ages and stages during our years in Long Beach. It was fun to reconnect with people we’d not seen in a few years through this common interest despite having grown apart as the kids grew up.

You know that song that goes, "The Waiting Is the Hardest Part"? Yes. Yes, it is.

You know that song that goes, “The Waiting Is the Hardest Part”? Yes. Yes, it is.

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One of our school's parents helped T pass the time by taking an interest in his project. I cannot thank her enough for that.

One of our school’s parents helped T pass the time by taking an interest in his project. I cannot thank her enough for that.

Mr. Wong talked to T during the review period. He is one of our school's 4th Grade teachers and also was our school's liaison for science fair this year.

Mr. Wong talked to T during the review period. He is one of our 4th Grade teachers and also was our school’s liaison for this year’s science fair throughout the entire process.

Then came time for T to show off his project, but not without a little more waiting and a LOT of patience. The kids all had a window of time they had to be near their project to wait on the reviewers to come through, which meant that someone had to go last. That someone was a Kindergartener, or more specifically, our Kindergartener. Thanks to the couple of others who saw this and approached T during this time to take interest and ask him about his project as he waited for the officials. It helped (trust me).

At long last, it's T's turn to talk!

At long last, it’s T’s turn to talk!

THEN finally it was T’s turn to talk. As this was a non-judgmental science fair (which seemed so weird to me – if any of my former schoolmates are reading this, wasn’t our district fair a HUGE scholarship opportunity, as in $10000+ prizes if chosen to go onto State and/or National competitions?!), he spoke with a reviewer, not a judge. Her recommendations for T were to try the project with even more materials than the four he used, including smooth or tumbled rocks (oh, the irony!).

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The woman who came to meet with T easily spent 15-20 minutes with him asking questions and taking time to discuss various aspects of the report and project’s scientific process. From what C and I saw she spent that much time with the other three students ahead of T as well, and yet not all the reviewers did this, not even close. To say she was thorough and amazing with the kids would not do her justice. Thanks to her for her involvement not just with our child but in this event overall.

C and I couldn’t have been prouder. Watching how confident T was speaking inside of those few minutes with the reviewer and seeing just how much he’d learned by doing this project made the last few weeks of work (and at times, struggle) all the more worthwhile. And he’s already talking about next year’s science fair project, too. Yep, totally worth it.

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T with the other two Kindergarteners chosen to represent his elementary (K-5) school at this year’s district science fair. All three are in the same class together. Eighteen students out of 60+ participants were selected from T’s school to join with hundreds of other students throughout Long Beach to celebrate learning at the annual event.

Congratulations to all of our school’s science fair participants! You rock. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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