New Learning Standards Highlighted at Connolly’s Science Fair

New Learning Standards Highlighted at Connolly’s Science Fair photo

Fourth- and fifth-grade students at Connolly participated this February in a science fair, which was aligned to the newly released New York State Science Learning Standards that stress beginning with science phenomena to engage students.

The science fair was a culminating project in a six-week scientific inquiry unit designed by the district’s science coordinator, Alexa Doeschner, in consultation with Connolly School Principal Julie Mullan. Science materials were purchased, and Ms. Doeschner prepared more than 100 science kits for teachers to use within their classrooms. Mrs. Mullan and Ms. Doeschner facilitated in-service meetings for teachers to get acquainted with the new approach. Teachers worked hard to implement the new curriculum, as they had to take a step back from direct teaching and take on a different role where they guided students through the inquiry process. 

Students had the opportunity to engage in scientific inquiry from beginning to end. They collaboratively developed their own questions and hypotheses, designed and conducted experiments, collected and interpreted data, and came to a conclusion. Students then presented their projects during the science fair, while district administrators rated their presentations using a rubric. 

Community members, including parents and Board of Education members Amy Franklin and Monica Alexandris-Miller, were in attendance showing their support for students’ hard work. The children were clearly proud of their projects and enthusiastic to share their accomplishments with everyone.