Friday, November 4, 2016

Science Fair

Welcome to the Fourth Annual Thornton Creek Science Fair (2016-17 school year)
The science fair will be held on Wednesday, March 8 2017 from 6:00 - 8:30 pm at the Thornton Creek Cafeteria and Gym.

Signup here: Science Fair Signup form

Science Fair
by Pat Boyle and Tracy Fuentes
Check out the cool science fair t-shirts.  We will be selling them for $10 at the event.  Proceeds to go the TC Parent's club.

Students should follow their interests and create a collection, invention, experiment, or research project.  Think of it as a show and tell for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math).  All students should create a poster board display for their project.  We will have poster boards available for a suggested donation of $3 (they are also available at Fred Meyer in Lake City).

We will have information and mentoring sessions to brainstorm ideas and help with student projects on Wednesday Feb 15 and Wednesday March 1 from 6-7:30 pm in the commons.   We are recruiting TC graduates, Nathan Hale students and Thornton Creek family members to serve as student mentors at these sessions. These info and mentoring sessions are not mandatory, but we strongly recommend that participating students attend at least one session.

As they view student displays, science fair visitors will be encouraged to ask questions of our young explorers. Fair visitors will also have the opportunity to write an appreciation of projects they visit.

How can you help? 1) Encourage your students to participate, and help them come up with appropriate projects.  2) Volunteer to be a mentor.  Commit to attend one or both of the info/mentoring sessions. 3) Help with set up and clean up.

Families are responsible for supervising their student at the mentoring sessions and at the Science Fair.

Students will need parent or guardian permission to participate.   A parent or guardian must also supervise their child at the science fair and at the Wednesday info/mentoring sessions.

Students are asked to display their work on a tri-fold poster.  Students who create a tool/device may demonstrate their tool or device during the fair.

This packet has suggestions of the types of projects you might do, and suggestions on how to display your investigation on a poster.  Feel free to exercise your artistic talents in your project or poster. 


Who can participate?  How do I sign up?
Everyone.  This is an extra-curricular activity to do at home.  Parent permission is required to participate.  See signup link above.

What is expected?
Each student will create a poster or a demonstration.  See the poster description below.  Poster display boards can be handmade or purchased at Fred Meyer or an office supply store.   We have a limited number available for a $3 donation.

Will projects be assessed?
There are no assessments of student projects.  Project fair visitors will have an opportunity to ask questions and write appreciations of our students’ displays.

Are there any project topic guidelines?  What types of projects can be presented? 


  • Ignore grade level guidance in the linked project docs (any grade can do any type of project).
  • The pdfs in the links below are borrowed from LA school districts packets for science fairs.
  • Project display content must be appropriate for our school setting. 
COLLECTION (Collection Project Guidance) – You can display a collection of objects that interest you.  Examples:   What kinds of insects can be found in my backyard? What types of tree leaves can be found on my street?  Where did I find my special rocks?

EXPERIMENT (Experiment Project Guidance) – You can conduct an experiment to test an idea or question.   You can ask a question, do some preliminary investigation/research, state a hypothesis (your best thinking about how your investigation will turn out), plan and conduct your experiment, and analyze your experiment results.

INVENTION (Invention Project Guidance)- Everyone is an engineer! You can design an object/tool to address a real life need.  Engineers observe a need, brainstorm possible design solutions, plan a design, create, build, and test their design.

RESEARCH PROJECT (Research Project Guidance) – Consider a topic of interest to investigate.  Gather information from print and the internet.  Talk to people who know a lot about the topic you want to research.  Your display could include drawings, photographs, charts, graphs, dioramas.   Possible ideas to investigate: How does a solar cell work? How does a light bulb operate? How do clouds form?

Possible ideas for a project:
·      Personal interests such as sports, hobbies, uses for a computer, Lego tools, and environmental issues.
·      Personal experiences from family travel, observation about events, trips to museums, favorite animals at the zoo, art work that fascinates you.
·      Family:  family tree, where food I eat comes from, parents’/relatives’ professions.
·      Current events and news:  social issues, discoveries, and natural disasters.

Display Suggestions

Where can I learn more about ideas for science fair projects?
Google:  “Elementary school science fair”
Parts of this document were copied from the LA School District Science Fair