Science Fair

Why have a Science Fair?

As a community,

  • We want to encourage our children to connect with nature and wonder upon the world around them. We want them to have a curiosity about what, where, when, who, why and how things happen.
  • We want to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education not only through formal, structured classes, but also through informal, totally open, and creative opportunities.
  • We want to help students learn how to acquire knowledge, tapping into their curiosity to hypothesize, research, explore, investigate,  experiment, try (and fail and try again), collect information, analyze, build and think.
  • We want to provide a “hands-on” science learning experience.

What is the Duveneck Science Fair?

It’s an annual Duveneck PTA event! Please stay tuned to the eNews for more information on dates.

All students (K-5) are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Students are encouraged to perform their own experiment, to investigate a science-related subject, or to build something to exhibit.

  • We/Duveneck PTA will provide a tri-fold board so students may exhibit their experiment, investigation or build.
  • The project can be done individually or with partners or in a group – one tri-fold board will be provided for each project.

The Duveneck Science Fair is non-competitive; each participant will receive a science-themed pin when they turn in their board.

  • No in-person presentation or demonstration is required; the board on its own should be self-explanatory.

The boards will be on display for two days: During school hours, each classroom will take a tour so that all of our Duveneck students can view the Science Fair exhibits.

  • There is a Family Night, open to the whole community, so everyone can view the projects.

How do students “do” a science project?

The scientific method may include these steps:
Step 1:  Ask a question
Step 2: Propose a hypothesis
Step 3: Prepare materials 
Step 4: Design an experiment to verify your hypothesis
Step 5: Data collection and analysis
Step 6: Draw a conclusion
Step 7: Present the project on the board to share with everybody!

BUT! not every project fits into this typical hypothesis/ experiment/ conclusion model – however your student(s) want to convey their project on the board is acceptable*. (*but, see Project Guidelines below…)

We encourage all science and technology related projects, like “how stuff works” investigation or building things. The best projects always come from students’ genuine curiosity about the world.

Also, remember that it is not an issue if your student’s experiment’s results do not meet expectations. That is how science and technology often turn out to be. This could lead to new discoveries!

Project Guidelines

As much as possible, we are looking forward to viewing the students’ work and reading the students’ words and ideas. Some parents may choose to help younger students with any writing (or typing).

  • That said, parents are asked to ensure that Science Fair displays do not have open FOODs or DRINKs, any OPEN LIQUIDS, OR UNSAFE OBJECTS.  
  • Examples: No baked goods comparing baking soda/baking powder, No open soda cans with sharp edges, No nails/screws used to test magnetism, No open moldy petri dishes, candy, sugar, bags of chips, flowers in open vases with different color water.
  • We want to keep the Flex/MP room bug-free and keep the floor and carpets clean – let’s avoid spills and crumbs, please.

The Science Fair is not really set up for interactive demonstrations or heavily interactive exhibits. Remember that the projects will be unattended while each classroom explores the displays.

Web Resources

We are parents and teachers who support Duveneck Elementary School in Palo Alto, CA. As a community, we help create the school we want our children to have by providing funding for school equipment and materials, hosting community events, and providing enrichment programs for parents, teachers and students.