Awakening Scientific Curiosity at Middle School
At the Middle School
That is what High School Science Research Teacher Maria Brown offered during her recent visit with the Middle School Seventh-grade students in Tracy Toth’s Enrichment classes. In anticipation of the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair in March, Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Toth were offering the students the chance to participate by helping them launch a scientific project.
Mrs. Brown outlined various kinds of experimental projects, explained the basics of the scientific process and was impressed by how much the Middle School Enrichment students already knew. Sharing her joyful curiosity about all things science, she acknowledged that, “it’s okay if you have to reject your hypotheses because what you thought was going to happen didn’t happen. That’s the cool thing about science. You never know how it’s going to end up.”
After her short presentation, Mrs. Brown showed the students several set-ups with specific scientific equipment and explained how each of the samples could be customized to the students’ particular interests.
The students were especially enthusiastic about Vernier Heart Rate Monitor, as well as the BioPac equipment which could measure the EEG, ECG, EMG, EOG outputs of test subjects for later analysis.
As they learn more about the equipment, the Middle School students can choose to engage in several months of legitimate research and experiments with the assistance of some of Mrs. Brown’s High School research students. The hope is that not only will this awaken their curiosity for science, some might be able to present their research at the LI Science and Engineering fair in the spring.