When it comes to Science Fairs, Abigail NeSmith, a teacher at Griffin Middle School is an innovator. As a sixth grade Science Teacher, setting up a successful Science Fair is an exciting prospect, but also extremely difficult. Mrs. NeSmith not only accepted this challenge, but she was able to conduct her local school fair using the incorporation of interdisciplinary ideas into student projects. By collaborating with her fellow sixth-grade teachers, she was able to set up a school-wide Science Fair where each subject area improved and taught certain parts of the process. She was inspired to pursue this task by her knowledge of the importance of interdisciplinary teaching in middle school education.
Each middle school subject area teacher helped with parts of the projectby implementing new ideas or moving preexisting ones to better fit the timeline. The idea creation process and experimentation/research were supported by the Science department, the research and citation help was done by ELA and Reading, the data collection and analysis was taught in Math, while social issues and impact of research were taught in Social Studies. With each class teaching a small part of the overall project,students had a stronger foundation to work on and more time to invest than a normal project.
To make this process easier for students, Mrs. NeSmith set up checkpoints for the students to complete which helped combat procrastination that plagues many student’s creative processes. The creativity that was promoted led to some extremely unique projects that were created through passion not need. One student, inspired by the trend of VSCO girls, analyzed the effectiveness of hydro flasks and how they work. Such implementation of pop culture in Science is an excellent way to involve students and make them more invested in the projects they complete.
Abigail NeSmith created a Science fair that not only helped to promote Science, but inspired creativity by integrating all the subjects together in a polished project. Mrs. NeSmith showed how communication and hard work can bring together a whole grade level of teachers to accomplish STEM implementation in a meaningful way.
Christian Cali, Supervisor
Contributing Author: Devanshu Tiwari