As the popular line from the franchise “Transformers” goes: “There is more than meets the eye.” In our recently concluded Science Fair, there really is more than meets the eye. For one, the dedication of the Grade 8 Science team behind the scenes doesn’t “meet” the eye for most parents and students. Also, the challenges and obstacles the students had faced in doing their Investigatory Projects were not seen in the illustration boards on the tables. The lessons the students learned beyond their experiments were not seen within the walls of the campus, but rather they are in a hidden niche of one’s mind. What happened anyway in the Science Fair?
From 1:00 to 3:30 pm on December 13, 2013, the Grade 8 batch of Flexi students showcased their Science Investigatory Projects. These projects covered many topics — from the acidity of fruit juices, to the weight of the school bags that students carry, to the best material for a kite, among others. At the end of the day though, we learned a lot more besides the necessity of chairs and refreshments during the latter part of 3 hours to remain effective in presentation.
The bulk of the work was done weeks before the actual event. From the start of the quarter, we were making our Investigatory Projects step by step, according to the well-planned schedule of the Science teachers. We gradually constructed our very own projects until the climax of the whole quarter: The Science Fair. It was stressful making our exhibits, but it should be made known that the work of the Grade 8 Science teachers in planning this made our worries seem insignificant.
At around 1:00 pm, the students, looking like young executives, were milling around, chatting with their classmates. The exhibits, made of 3 ½ illustration boards, stood on tables in a grid-like pattern inside the Angelo-King Multi-Purpose Center. The stage was set for the big event.
I remained inside the building during the ribbon cutting at 1:30. Our school president, Fr. Aristotle Dy, together with the Science Department Chairperson, Mr. Roberto Dela Cruz, was present to cut the ribbon, officially starting the Science Fair. Before this though, they both gave out opening remarks. I’ll be the first to admit that I was quite excited.
The Science Fair started out slowly. Only a few visitors appeared during the first 30 minutes. After an hour had passed, we spotted many of our teachers roaming about in the crowd. More and more visitors, especially parents, came as time passed. Even students from the higher batches visited. It was a crowded building, filled with parents, teachers, and “professionals” next to their exhibits.
As a group leader, I felt that we weren’t ready enough for this Science Fair, as we did not anticipate the pressure of presenting our work to people we did not know, nor our inevitable stammering. Nevertheless, each group member spoke up, and answered the queries of the visitors. Most of our visitors were just curious, paying little attention to the technicalities. Others were just parents looking only for their son’s project, ignoring others. All were polite though, commending each work with a “Good job!” or “Nice work!”
The Science Fair went as quickly as it came, for the 2 hours had passed before I knew it. We, as participants, were not allowed to eat, drink, or sit down for the duration of the Fair. Despite not eating lunch, I did not feel the effects of hunger during the Science Fair. This is a testament to the fact that this activity was actually exciting and fun, because we were given a welcome break from the monotony of classes and homework that have plagued us most of the time. We were given the opportunity to display the fruits of our labor, the result of our diligent work. We were able to inform teachers, parents, and students of the answers to many hidden questions. We are able to provide them with advice and the solutions to problems that pertain to a certain field, given that each project dealt with a different topic.
At the end of the day, there is no question that the event was a successful one, all the hard work of the students and the teachers paid off. We improved our skills in oral defense. Moreover, we probed deeper into the field we were assigned to, and we picked up valuable knowledge on this, be it the best surface to run on, the shade a tree provides, the heat conductivity of different materials, or any of the other topics assigned to us. At the end of the day, we remained patient and persevered through all the potholes on the road to this event, and this resulted in the triumph of the Grade 8 Science Fair.
I believe then that the Science Fair, which seemed like a daunting task when we were first introduced to it, is really a fair assessment of all we have learned in Science, and how it translates into our final product, of which we are all proud of. It’s a fair assessment, for we ourselves assessed the importance of this whole exercise, to ourselves and to others, by presenting our work. Given the nature of this activity, we may have forgotten that this is an actual assessment, but this fact pales in light of the success of this Science Fair, the information shared, and the lessons learned, not just in Science, but life in general. The goal of this Science Fair is not just a means to get an A+, nor to boast one’s work, but to learn new things and to share them with others. Mission accomplished.