Students of all grades and ages, and their families, were invited to attend Achieve Charter Academy’s Science Night. Achieve hosts this event every year, but this was the first year they moved away from the traditional Science Fair to support a more hands-on learning experience, while still giving students the opportunity to create a project through Maker's Fair.
Stemville a Northville-based company provided activities that included Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, and allowed students to use creative thinking and problem solving as they participate in science-based activities.
“The main goal of the event was to provide an enriched hands-on experience for our students,” said Jennifer Conley, principal at Achieve. “We wanted kids from all grade levels to experience hands-on activities that would get them excited to learn about science!”
According to educationassociates.com, research shows that hands-on experiences increase student performance and motivation. “A meta-analysis of 15 years of research on the advantages of hands-on learning demonstrated that students in activity-based programs performed up to 20% higher than groups using traditional or textbook approaches.”
At Science Night, there were three classrooms filled with “Make It and Take It” science activities, which were led by Achieve educators. These activities included constellations, catapults, and building structures.
Another component of Science Night included fourth- through eighth-grade scholars being invited to present their Maker's Fair projects to students and parents. For these projects, students were asked to research and prepare a presentation on any topic that interested them. Through their research, they were tasked to find the answer to an essential question that they determined. This was science or technology-based essential question, to which they provided a visual representation of their findings.
“We had a great turn out!” shared Conley. “Students were excited about the hands-on opportunity, and parents enjoyed seeing the students present their Maker's Fair project.”