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  • Meridian Park

    STEM Fair





    Meridian Park STEM Fair

    Thursday, May 14th, 2020 2:30-3:00 (in school)



    A Special STEM Fair Letter to Parents

    Mrs. Rudberg

    March 2020


    Dear Parents,


    It’s time to start preparing for our annual 4th, 5th and 6th Grade STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) Fair! Your child should review these directions with you, and we ask that you sign and return the next sheet (students need to keep the rest of the packet in their binders for reference throughout the project).


    All students in the class must participate as part of their science grade this year. Planning and preparation for the science fair will be a combination of school and home assignments. The trials for the experiment will be conducted at home, meaning you will need to provide some materials and time at home for STEM Projects. We have purchased a white tri-fold display board for your child. Students will have scheduled workdays at school, after they conduct their trials at home, to complete project reports and work on their tri-folds. The more they accomplish at school during these work times, the less they will need to complete at home. Thank you in advance for supporting the home portion of the STEM Fair!


    Also, we highly encourage students to submit their projects to the Shoreline STEM Fair at Shoreline Community College on Saturday, May 16th. Students must sign up (at shorelinestem.org) for the STEM fair by April 15th (all information is at shorelinestem.org). Even though their projects won’t be completed by then, the application just requires them to submit their project plan, which they will definitely have in place. Participating in the STEM Fair at Shoreline Community College would be a great opportunity for students to take their projects to a deeper level and see projects submitted by students all over the district.


    The purpose of the STEM Fair is for your child to enjoy using her or his curiosity to create a STEM project and to explain the process and results to others. The completed STEM Fair entry should reflect your child’s very best independent effort.


    Read below to see how you can help your child during this STEM Project Process.


    Time Management

    See your child’s Project Schedule for all of the key due dates. Help your child meet these dates by getting out your family calendar and marking interim due dates. Block out times for trip to the store and other experimentation time. Look for any scheduling conflicts, such as vacations, and discuss issues with your teacher.


    How Parents Can Help

    As your child works on her or his project, he or she will face stumbling blocks. To help, ask questions to help your child figure things out; don’t just provide the answers. Open-ended questions, such as, “What else could you try to solve this?” or “What is stopping you from going on to the next step?” are best. Sometimes just talking it out can help children get unstuck. If not, ask the teacher for help. Respect your child’s independence in learning by helping at the right level.


    It is your child’s responsibility to have hands on for every part of the STEM Investigation. Parents, your job is to provide encouragement, materials, space, and time for your young scientist. Take pictures, give advice, be there for them, but please don’t put hands on. As soon as you start interacting with the process, you’ve taken the investigation out of your child’s hands. We appreciate your support in allowing your kids to gain the most from this experience!

    Parents: Helping at the Right Level at Every Step


    Project Step

    Help at the right level:

    Going too far:

    Ask a question.

    ·       Discussing with your child whether a project/design idea seems practical

    ·       Picking an idea or project for your child: A topic not of interest will turn into a boring project

    Construct a project idea based on a real-world problem

    ·       Asking how the project idea relates to a real-world problem and the child’s plan for testing the idea.

    ·       Writing the project yourself or asking the child to use an idea you created

    Testing/designing and improving the project.

    ·       Assisting in finding materials

    ·       Monitoring safety (you should always observe any steps involving heat or electricity)

    ·       Writing the design/invention plan

    ·       Testing/designing/improving

    ·       Telling your child step-by-step directions to test, design and improve

    Analyze data and draw a conclusion.

    ·       Asking how your child will record the data in a data table or journal

    ·       Reminding your child to tie the data back to the original problem to draw a conclusion

    ·       Creating a spreadsheet and making the graphs yourself, even if your child helps type in values

    ·       Announcing the conclusion yourself

    Communicate your results.

    ·       If a presentation is assigned, acting as the audience

    ·       If a display board is assigned, helping to bring it to school

    ·       Writing the text on the display board

    ·       Determining the color scheme and other graphic elements

    Please sign this form below and return the detached section to us with your child by ______________________. By receiving this form back from you we know you have reviewed the directions, calendar, and expectations with your child.







    Mrs. Rudberg


    " -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    STEM Fair Parent Letter – DUE March 6th


    Student Name:                                           ­­­            ­­­­­­



    Student Signature                                              Adult Signature

    STEM Fair Schedule (by date)

    Weeks of March 9th and 16th

    Intro to STEM Fair/ Brainstorm (Steps 1-3)

    Work on: Ideas for STEM Fair project

    Due Date: Parent letter ____

    In class ✓


    Weeks of March 23rd and March 30th

    (In-class work sessions)

    Problem/Solutions Approval (Step 4) Form.

    Due date: Problem Approval (Step 4) due on _______ (requires parent signature!)

    In class plus a parent signature ✓

    Create a table to record observations for your building and testing.

    Due date: Table due by ______

    In class ✓

    Choosing a unique solution (Step 5) and (Step 6) Plan your design

    Due date: due by ______

    In class ✓

    Explaining how it works (Step 7) and Materials Needed (Step 8)

    Due date: due by ______

    In class ✓


    Weeks of ( Optional over Spring Break) April 6th – 24th)


    STEM Project (Step 9 & 10) Building @ testing home!

    Work on: Building and testing @ home.

    Home! ✓


    Week of April 27th


    STEM Project trials (Step 9 and 10) are complete and Data Table filled out.


    Due date: Show your teacher your data table with evidence of the completion of your STEM Project Trials!

    In class ✓


    Work on: Process Write Up

    Work on: Process Write Up



    Week of May 4th

    (In-class work sessions)

    Process Write Up & Trifolds

    Complete: Process Write Up & Trifolds.

    In class ✓


    Thursday, May 14th @ 2:30-3:15 p.m.

    Science Fair

    Display trifolds and be available to answer questions!

    In cafeteria ✓


    STEM FAIR **Optional More Information to Come



    STEM Project Questionnaire                              DUE______________


    Things to consider before brainstorm:


    Places To Look for Ideas:

    • Science/STEM Books                   
    • Science Lab Manuals
    • Encyclopedias                   
    • Educational TV Programs
    • Science/STEM Magazines
    • Web Sites (be safe and specific with searches – kid-friendly sites are best)


    Examples of Experimental / Invention Projects (the type that require hands-on):

    • A Lego building that withstands earthquakes!
    • What type of paper allows a paper airplane to fly the farthest?
    • What affect does music type have on the growth of plants?
    • How does the brand of soccer ball affect how far it travels when kicked?
    • How does the brand of battery affect the life span of a flashlight?
    • How does the brand of tissue affect its strength?
    • A bridge that shortens commute time and can span across the bay!
    • A rescue vehicle that can drive over tough mountain terrain without tipping over!


    Examples of Non-Experimental Projects (the type to avoid because they are just research-based, not constructive/experimental):

    • How water moves through a plant
    • How electricity is made
    • Phases of the moon
    • Simple machines
    • Leaf Characteristics
    • Migration of Birds


    Brainstorm Questionnaire:


    1. What is something in real life that does not work as well as you would like it to work?




    1. What problem(s) would you like to see solved (School? Home? The Environment?)




    1. If you could invent something to make your life easier, what would you invent?




    1. What is the most annoying problem that a new invention or redesigned idea could solve…
    • at home in your kitchen?


    • at home in your bathroom?


    • at home in your bedroom?


    • at home in your garage?


    • at home in your living room?


    • at home in your entry hall?


    • at _____________________



    STEM Project/Invention Questionnaire (Cont’d)


    1. What is the most annoying problem that a new invention or redesigned idea could solve…
    • at school in your classroom?



    • at school in the lunchroom?



    • at school in the hallway?


    • at school in your desk?



    • at school in the library?



    • at school in your cubby?


    1. What about problems in other parts of your life? ie. Sports? Pets? Car? Bike?



    Step 2: Decision Making


    Using the list of problems, which problems would be possible for you to work on? Narrow down to no more than four.












    Step 3: Pros and Cons


    Now choose two and list the Pros and Cons of the work involved in solving each of the selected problems?






                     Pros                                          Cons    














                     Pros                                          Cons    





    Step 4: Choose ONE problem to solve


    imagine some of the solutions





    Parent Approval Signature_______________­­­_______

    Pages 9-10 DUE DATE____________


    What is the result you are trying to achieve?




    What are some possible solutions?




    Step 5: Your Solution!


    1. Draw a star next to your chosen solution in step 4.


    1. Has this solution been done before?


    1. How do you know? What research have you done?


    1. If it exists, how is your approach different and better?





    Step 6: Plan a design


    DUE DATE______________

    Draw a diagram of your STEM Project. You may turn the paper either way. Label all the parts and features.      --à   -à On the next page, explain how it works.


    Step 7: Explain how it works.





    Step 8: Material List


    Material and Tools List:





    Where will you get these materials?



    H: Already have at home

    T: I have asked my teacher to help get this and she said YES

    S: I have asked my family to help get this and they said YES

    O: Other (please explain)




    Step 9: Build it! Experiment!


    DUE DATE______________


    Explain the steps you went through to build your STEM Project.


    Or include photographs to explain each step. Number your steps.










    Step 10: Test it! Improve it. Reflect!

    Describe your first test. What problems (if any) did you encounter?



    What do you need to do to make your design better?


    Did it work? Why or why not?


    What might you do differently next time?



    Step 11: Name it!

    DUE DATE______________

    An invention can be named in one of the following ways:


    1. Using the inventor’s name (Levi Strauss: LEVI’S Jeans)


    1. Using the parts or ingredients of the invention (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup)


    1. Using initials or acronyms (SCUBA: self-contained underwater breathing apparatus)


    1. Using word combinations (Kit Kat; Hula Hoop)


    1. Using the product’s function (Dustbuster vacuum cleaner)


                           What are your ideas?




    Step 12: Plan and Create the Invention Display Board for the STEM Fair here at Meridian Park on

    Thursday, May 14th 2020


    • Your Invention Display Board should look professional and not too crowded.
    • It should be appealing to the
    • Your board should clearly outline what your invention is about and how it’s useful.
    • Pictures are very helpful and often say more than words.
    • Diagrams are also very useful as they your audience to follow your train of thought easily and without confusion.
    • Use color to separate ideas and arrows to direct attention.
    • Your board will do the talking for you, so it needs to communicate your work well.                      


    Turn to the next

    page for layout



    Display Board



    Purpose of

    STEM Project,

       how it

    solves a





    Title of STEM Project


    Diagram of your

    STEM Project with labels



       Your first/last name



    Reflection (Step 11)





    of how your

    STEM Project





    In front of your board on the table, display your actual STEM Project!

    **Additional (if desired):

    • Acknowledgement of those who helped you
    • Interactive component for your audience (i.e. demonstration materials, samples, etc.)
    • Handout, brochure, notecard, etc.
    • Trading object with other scientists

    List of items NOT allowed at the Science Investigation evening:

    • Live animals
    • Preserved animals or their body parts
    • Hypodermic needles
    • Sharp or dangerous objects
    • Drugs
    • Radioactive, toxic, poisonous, corrosive, reactive and/or flammable/combustible materials
    • Batteries with open-top cells
    • Open flames






















    US State Project









    US State Project Rubric


    Outside of project



    Your name is included

    Project is in the shape of the state

    Name of state is written in large block lettering

     Capital is labeled and marked with a star (and in the correct geographic location)

    Major landforms are represented, labeled and colored (mountains, forests, lakes, rivers, deserts, etc.)

    State is colored appropriately to represent the geographical areas (i.e. a dry state might be tan). Use colored pencil please!

    Words are clear and legible

     All words are gone over with a black fine-tipped pen. Title should be bolder and stand out.



     All requirements for a “3” are met, plus:

    Project is visually appealing and detailed in appearance (shape is precise, coloring and lettering are done with precision, map is carefully detailed, etc.)

    Major and minor landforms are represented, labeled and colored (mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, etc)

     Major cities are labeled (and in correct geographic location)

    Famous Landmarks are labeled (and in correct geographic location)

    All words are gone over with a black fine-tipped pen and no pencil marks are visible

    q Any extra detail about the topic of the map included



     Project is in the shape of the state but with little detail or precision

    Title or name is missing

     Capital not in correct location

      Few major landforms are represented (mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, etc)

    Map is colored but with few labels

     Some words are gone over with a black pen and some pencil marks are visible

     Words are unclear or illegible

     Map is labeled using minimal detail


    Project is in the shape of the state but with no detail or precision

    Title and name is missing

    Capital is missing

    No major landforms are represented (mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, etc)

     Map is not color coded

    Words are not gone over with black pen (most pencil marks visible)

     Words are unclear/ illegible

     Map is barely labeled


    Inside of project:


     State flower is researched and named

    State tree is researched and named

    State seal or flag is researched and drawn

     Largest city by population is researched and named

    Nickname or motto are researched and named

    Governors’ name is researched and written

     Bordering states/ countries are researched and named

    Three interesting facts about the state are written.

    Report includes a paragraph about a famous person from the state, a famous landmark and its history or a famous event from history that took place in the state.

     All words are typed and neatly assembled on the inside of the state.


    All the requirements for a “3” are met, plus:

     State flower is neatly drawn with appropriate colors

    State tree is neatly drawn with appropriate colors

     Largest city is recorded with population statistics

    Write a paragraph about one of the following you did not already include: famous person, famous landmark, famous historical event.

    State timeline is recorded with at least five major dates

    Any extra detail about the topic of the state included



     Missing or incorrect state flower, tree, flag or seal

     Missing or incorrect largest city

     Missing or incorrect nickname and motto

     Missing or incorrect Governor

     Missing or incorrect bordering states and/or countries

     Missing a fact or facts are unclear/irrelevant

    Paragraph is too short and/or missing important details and lacking in information


    Missing state flower, tree, flag and seal

    Missing largest city

    Missing nickname and motto

    Missing Governor’s name

    Missing some bordering states/countries

    Missing facts

     Paragraph is missing.



    Your Guide to the Galaxy

    For our first book project this year, you are going to read a book that takes place in another world, universe, alternate dimension or galaxy! Then, you are going to write a Travel Brochure to help us prepare to experience that world.

    Step 1: Choose your book according to the standards below.

    •  This book must be in the Fantasy or Science Fiction Genre (this way, the world you are describing will not be exactly like the world we live in)
    • Step 2: Read the book. Bring the book to class every day for reading and taking notes. Take notes on things in the following categories (see attached note guide):
    •  What is the environment like in this world? What type of clothes or gear would we need to pack to visit? 

    •  What kind of people or creatures will we meet there? Are there special powers or magic we should know about? 

    •  What are the accommodations like? Hotels? Tents? Space stations? How do people travel? 

    •  What should we eat? Or avoid eating? 

    •  What sights should we see, or avoid seeing? Are there important things we 
should put on our schedule? 

    •  Is it safe to visit? Will we be caught in a war or other conflict? How can we stay 

    •  Plan to include images to help us see the environent

    Step 3: Complete the Project (We will have several work sessions in class).

    Step 4: Participate in Galactic Travel Day on November _____-- (a chance to introduce many people to the Universe you discovered). You may give students a “taste” of your book during the travel day. (If you need help getting resources for food, let me know! I can help!)

    Name ___________________ Book Title _________________________

    I certify that my project is based on the book, and not the movie! _____________________



    Guide to the Galaxy Travel Brochure Rubric





    All elements for a 3 have been met, plus extra relevant and interesting information!

    Guide has specific and detailed information about the environment, creatures, foods, things to see or avoid.

    Guide has some information about the environment, creatures, foods, things to see or avoid.

    Information is missing or inaccurate

    Guide is neatly typed and easy to read, with NO errors

    Guide is neatly typed and easy to read, with only one or two errors

    Guide is typed with several errors, or difficult to read

    Guide is not typed or it has many errors and is difficult to read

    Guide has 3 or more pictures, including a map. All pictures and map have captions

    Guide has 3 or more pictures, including a map. There are some captions

    Guide is missing some pictures or map, or they are not relevant

    Where are the pictures?