Spotlight on Scientists at Work

Tabletops are sticky with Pop Rocks, soda and salt. Plastic bottles flip and fall noisily to the floor. And an odor of vinegar permeates the air. Welcome to the world of grade 5 scientists at work.
Science fair season at Barstow inspires curiosity, creativity and independence in grade 5 students. What sets the Barstow experience apart is that students do 100% of the work at school — from concept, to conducting experiments to compiling results. That means they have the freedom to make mistakes, to problem solve and recreate their experiment on their own. That’s where the lasting learning happens, and that’s how a Barstow student becomes a “maker and doer” who learns by taking intellectual risks.

After seeing video of what happened when Mentos combined with Diet Coke, one student decided to test what would happen to balloons filled with other liquids and solids. "I always wondered, 'What if?' Now I get to find out," he said. From start to finish, the science fair is one of the most memorable experiences in lower school.

“When I read about science I learn concepts, but with a hands-on experiment that I figure out on my own, I see how things happen and I really get it.”