Everyone knows the science fair drill. Students work on their science fair projects at home, in isolation. Sometimes parents need to get involved to help (which can lead to a project created by the parents). Creativity and curiosity are set aside as children and parents look at the dozens of websites devoted to science fair projects and instructions. And so forth — it's just not good science. This is why Almaden Country Day School (ACDS) is shaking things up...
"Children learn science by doing science, and the traditional science fair simply doesn't replicate the actual experience of scientists today," says Dr. Olaf Jorgenson, Head of School at Almaden Country Day School. "Our teachers have created an opportunity for ACDS students to practice curiosity, teamwork, cooperation, creativity, persistence, and problem-solving — the same skills they will need to be successful in a professional environment. Our students have a lot of fun and they do good science. This is the sort of hands-on experience that we as educators need to provide, so we can inspire the next generation of science leaders in Silicon Valley."
Students Face Real-Life Challenges at this San Jose Science Fair
To prepare for the fair, student teams are prompted with real-life challenges. For example, students may be asked to limit the spread of invasive cane toads, or improve the quality of life for the disabled, or alleviate global hunger. Then they work in teams to find creative solutions to their assigned problem. Perhaps they will design and build original cane toad traps, or invent a device to help those with disabilities gain extra mobility, or create a system for delivering supplies to remote areas in need of disaster relief. The goal is to meet the challenge and solve the problem.
Each team develops prototypes and tests their solution until their trials generate enough data to draw proper conclusions. This style of science fair gives students the opportunity to behave like scientists, using their critical thinking skills to find creative solutions to address their challenge while working collaboratively within their group. And they do this at school, as part of their science curriculum. Jorgenson says their enthusiasm and excitement is palpable throughout the entire process, and their skill development is unmistakable.
At ACDS, educators know the value of learning experiences that position students for success in the world they inhabit today and tomorrow. Their Engineering & Design Fair is one example of how ACDS is preparing and inspiring students to become our next generation of innovators.
This year's ACDS Engineering & Design Fair is set for Wednesday, May 2. The exhibits are open for viewing from 8:15 to 11 a.m. in the school auditorium.
Contact Almaden Country Day School
Director of Marketing Communications
About Almaden Country Day School
Almaden Country Day School is an independent, coeducational, nonsectarian private school in San Jose. The mission of ACDS is to discover the gifts in every child. Preschool, elementary, and middle school programs are offered for students 4 years of age and up.
ACDS is known for its unique balance of academic rigor and character development, supported by a close-knit school community that celebrates of the joy of childhood. Through their curriculum, faculty and staff, athletics, clubs, activities, service learning, and community events, ACDS helps children to reach their intellectual, social, and personal best.
If you are interested in applying or setting up a tour of our campus, please contact our Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 997-0424.
For more information, visit: https://www.almadencountrydayschool.org/