To Jessica Fields, the secret to making science more appealing to elementary students isn’t complex, although the formula might include a bit of rocket science.
The All Science Day held Oct. 6 at Stevenson Elementary in Grandview Heights offered students a day full of science activities.
“We try to give them a variety of fun, hands-on science activities,” said Fields, the school’s 21st-century learning coach.
“All Science Day is designed to get students thinking about what it means to be a scientist and how they think it would be to be a scientist.”
The variety of activities also helps show students that almost everything they do in life involves science, one way or another, said Rich Granger, who served as co-coordinator of the event with Brittany Stockdale, another parent, and Fields.
“Some of the students may find they’re interested in an area of science they may not have even known about before,” Granger said.
All Science Day is held early in the school year to help set the stage for the science curriculum that follows, Fields said.
At the elementary-grade level, the science curriculum focuses on the building blocks of life science, earth and space matters and physical science, she said.
Students are excited, eager to learn and curious at this age, Granger said.
“I’ve been helping out with All Science Day for a few years now, and it’s always so much fun to see how excited the kids get about it,” he said.
“What I love is when a student comes up to me with a big smile and tells me ‘All Science Day is the best day ever,'” Fields said.
She said she hears comments like that quite often during the day.
After the COVID-19 pandemic forced an all-virtual event two years ago and a day of outdoor-only activities last school year, the program returned to a more traditional mix of science stations set up inside and outside the school building, Granger said.
Students spent the day rotating through the stations operated by parent volunteers and representatives from central Ohio organizations and companies in the science field, he said.
Students were invited to participate in activities that included building rockets using paper, straws and other simple materials and making and testing a hypothesis for how far their rockets would fly when launched.
Granger, who works as an educator with DriveOhio, operated a station at which students practiced coding by creating a map that their mini-robot would follow.
“We had a drone demonstration going on throughout the day,” Granger said. “Every time the drone would take off, everyone’s attention was riveted watching it soar.”
Even music teacher Brian Petit got into the science spirit overseeing a chemistry station, he said.
“I think it was cool for the students to see their music teacher has an interest in chemistry,” Granger said.
All Science Day is sponsored by the Stevenson PTO.