“Why does the egg float?” has become one of the most popular stations. Involving water, salt, bowls, and eggs, it lets students get a bit messy and keeps them entertained and curious until someone at the table can solve the mystery. To explore the five senses, students tried matching the ringing of a hidden bell with a choice of bells before moving on to a series of herbs and food to smell and taste. Some classes had a quiz table with trivia about odors and the noses of different birds and animals.
Older students guided their younger friends by explaining the activities and purpose of each station. With parents and children working together at stations, the setup provided for an engaging atmosphere where kids could experience science outside the classroom. Parents were actively participating with groups of children too. This helped students to see that science happens everywhere, every day. It fostered interaction among parents, children, and teachers with a fun, educational experience that surpassed the benefits of simply doing homework or a project.
Hypothesis: Holding an annual Family Science Night will build students’ confidence to understand science and to experience its wonders in a holistic way. A stimulating educational activity outside the regular school day will help families come together to learn outside the regular school day.
Conclusion: Our observations showed that Family Science Night does indeed foster a curiosity about science and the hidden world around us. Our students sought to educate themselves and guide their schoolmates on their educational journey. They inspired (and will continue to inspire) each other, their parents, and themselves to discover, imagine, experiment, and take risks. This is an annual tradition for the Austin International School community worth keeping.
Sharon Munroe and Suzanne Krause