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Classroom Happenings: Grade 5 Science Fair

The Steward School
From hypothesis to conclusion 
What do potatoes, plants, electricity, and mold have in common? These were just some of the subjects fifth-graders explored through scientific experiments this semester. At the May 13 Science Fair, held in the Bryan Innovation Lab, these young scientists proudly displayed their finished projects, explaining to parents and fellow Lower Schoolers their observations, hypotheses, analyses, and conclusions. 

“We begin to think about the Science Fair after Spring Break each year,” explained Grade 5 Teacher Ron Coles, who spearheads the annual event, “and students have six weeks to work on their projects at home.” Inspired by a limitless range of scientific experiments, Spartans tap into their creative side and also develop their time-management, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills. 

Flour Power

For her experiment, Charlotte Berry ’29 tested out various types of flour (half whole wheat/half all-purpose; rye; whole wheat; and all-purpose) to determine which one’s starter produced the largest loaf of sourdough bread. In the Bryan Lab, Charlotte displayed four rustic, flour-dusted loaves of bread that she’d baked at home, along with the starters used to make them. Her hypothesis was correct (and delicious-looking): The starter made with all-purpose flour yielded the largest loaf. 

Electric Spuds

Holden Teague ’29 and Colman Lord ’29 used potatoes, copper and silver strips, wire, and a two-volt light bulb for their project. They knew that inserting the wires into the potatoes would cause the potatoes’ chemical energy to convert into electrical energy that could power a small light bulb. They hypothesized that adding more potatoes to the “chain” would increase the electrical energy. 

“Our hypothesis was correct,” wrote Holden and Colman on their project board, titled Potato Power. “When we added more potatoes, the light became bright and produced more volts.” 

We’re proud of all our Spartan scientists! 

Check out the Steward Snaps from the Grade 5 Science Fair.

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