Promoting Inquisitive Young Minds

Kilohana science fair showcases student experiments.

By Jennifer Smith

The community supported students’ inquisitive young minds during last Thursday’s Kilohana Science Fair. The school-wide event displayed science projects from each of the classes.

“Please enjoy our evening of science,” sixth-graders Heather Place and Xrystina Bicoy said, kicking off the evening with a warm welcome to attendees. The young masters of ceremonies explained how each grade took on a specific topic to investigate.

Kindergarten to sixth-grade students used an inquiry-based approach to study everything from matter to flight, and from wetlands to fishponds. The students learned about the different processes of science by finding the answers to their own questions.

First-grade teacher Tammy Castor’s class learned about matter. “They did a really good job,” she said, explaining how her students came up with almost all of the answers to their questions. She said while they learned a lot about matter, they concluded there was a lot more they needed to know.

Castor said last year the students were introduced to the inquiry process, and this year they focused on investigating. She said the school tries to scaffold the knowledge between the grades, to build a better understanding for the students. “It works out better” because the students are not receiving so much information at once, Castor said.

Second-graders in Katherine Stadler’s class transformed a toy into a science project. “They had a fascination with paper airplanes,” Stadler said, explaining how her class came up with their science project.

The students used the best models of paper airplanes, took data on how far they flew, and graphed it. Stadler said the class learned several interesting facts, like how the Wright Brothers used paper airplane models before making history, and that several plane engineers continue to use paper airplane models. “It was a great fun project,” Stadler said.

Molokai High School senior Ayla Bicoy shot video footage to document the evening. Having noticed a decline in student interest in science, Bicoy spent the last semester mentoring Kilohana Elementary School students on science projects. Her video of the science fair completes the last phase of her senior research project.

Bicoy said it is important to spark students’ interest in science at a young age.


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