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I spoke to one mother of a 3rd grader in a New York City public school, Marylynn Miller, who called the process, “agonizing.” Her child’s experience was clearly not supported in the optimal way that Hess suggested.
She thought that her child was supposed to be submitting parts of the project periodically but he wasn’t.
None of the parents I spoke to had any idea this could be done .
Fortunately, this process appears to be important to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a set of standards released in 2013 that was derived from a framework of in-depth research examining science education.
Setting up the demo was the easy part but when his principal stopped at his tri-fold board and asked him what his project was about, he replied, “It’s complicated.” Unfortunately for him, presentation and communication is part of the grade.
The only formal feedback he received was a small trophy for having participated in the fair. Science educators whom I’ve consulted had strong opinions about the kind of support students are given for the science fair.
“To expect that to be an intuitive thinking process is absurd! Another science teacher at Rollins Place Elementary in Louisiana, Breigh Rhodes, was critical of how the scientific method is being taught today.
However, she knew that just having good art supplies, a color printer, and high speed internet already put her child at an unfair advantage.I told David Wells, manager of creative making and learning at the New York Hall of Science—the children’s science museum where the World Maker Faire is held every year—about how my son responded to his principal.Wells pointed out that if reflection was incorporated into the learning practice from the beginning, children would be able to better express what they know.The two men created Science Services as a nonprofit news service in 1921 with a goal of keeping the public informed of the latest advancements in science.
Later, Science Services collaborated with Westinghouse in 1942 to establish The Science Talent Search for high school students, a competition intended to encourage students to pursue a career in science or engineering.
Perhaps Lego Education might be able to assist.”If the largest association of science teachers feels that clarifying expectations about the science fair, especially with regards to science toys and the scientific method was “out of their scope,” how could we expect parents to know how to help their kids?