Fourth and fifth grade Challenge students from Washington Irving are excited about science. For the past six weeks they have been exploring a topic of their choice and employing the scientific method where they ask questions, conduct research, design and carry out experiments.
They presented their projects to the community on March 27.
Rose Karpenstein studied whether a green roof or a traditional roof would keep a home cooler. “I really am interested in architecture and I love learning about nature,” Karpenstein said. She built two homes out of boxes and covered one with grass and dirt. She tested the temperature and discovered her hypothesis was true – as the outside temperature increased, the green roof home stayed cool.
“This is authentic research,” said Challenge Science teacher Maureen Massaro. The project also taught resilience. “There is a real sense of accomplishment here. Some of the children struggled and had to start over but they learned I can do this.”
Fourth-grader Ari Moll wanted to find out which was stronger, a human hand or a rubber band? He used a miniature catapult that he made out of a ruler to test his experiment. “I like history and catapults played a big role,” he said. “I like science because I like adventure.”
Students researched many topics including: DNA, fingerprints, Astronomy, Behavioral Science, aerodynamics, electricity and force. They often used everyday objects to learn how science works.