In the Illumination Fair, students in grades 5 and 7 take on a true hypothesis-testing science experiment. Over the course of several months, they conduct testing and collect data in order to help answer a research question. Important skills like data analysis, graphing and scientific writing are learned and practiced. Questions this year ranged from “which type of water freezes fastest?” to “how does electro-plating affect electrical conduction?”
Students in grades 6 and 8 complete a Learning Fair project. In this, they choose a topic which interests and intrigues them and then formulate a question which they attempt to answer using detailed research. Several months are spent exploring a variety of sources and collecting relevant information, which students then use to write a paper and to prepare an engaging visual presentation. Important skills like writing a thesis statement, note taking, drafting an outline and compiling a bibliography are learned and practiced. This year topics ranged from Ocean Pollution to Child Labor.
Middle School Co-Director Mr. H said the Illumination Fair allows Doane Stuart’s young students to become passionate experts on a topic which truly interests them and allows personal ownership of the learning.