Sage Studio

Student Stories: Spotlight on the Science Fair

April 10, 2023 Sage Oak Charter Schools Episode 17
Sage Studio
Student Stories: Spotlight on the Science Fair
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode,  three Sage Oak students talk about creating projects and competing in the science fair.  Each student breaks down their process and shares why they love project-based project-based learning.


  • How they come up with their idea
  • How they personalized their idea
  • Conducting the experiment
  • Tracking the progress
  • Analyzing the data
  • Displaying the data in project form
  • What they learned and advice to other students

Thank you for listening to the Sage Studio podcast presented by Sage Oak Charter Schools and hosted by Tiffiny Webster, M.A.Ed. We invite you to follow the show and leave your review below. Sage Oak Charter Schools is an independent study nonclassroom based TK-12 personalized learning public charter school serving students in Southern California. Visit for more information.

Sage Oak Website

We recently had a science fair here at Sage Oak Charter School where students could create projects and then present them at our science fair, and I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of students who created projects and they were really fantastic. And so I wanted them to be able to share their stories with you. So in today's podcast we talk to three students who each walk us through their process for choosing their science fair experiment topic, the process that they went through to conduct their experiments, and then their results and what they learned in the process. It's a really fun conversation to hear how our sage oak students are loving project-based learning and the chance to personalize some of the learning that they're doing in the program. So take a look at this upcoming podcast with our science fair students. Welcome to another episode of the Sage Studio Podcast. I'm Tiffiny Webster, and today I'm joined by a very special guest. She's one of our very own Sage Oak students. Her name is Brielle , and I am going to let her share her story about a really cool science project that she did. I had a chance to go to the science fair and see her in person and see her project, and I was like, you know what? You gotta be on the podcast. Other kids need to know about the cool things that you are doing, and they should know so that they can also create cool science projects as well. So welcome to the podcast, Brielle, thank you okay, so Brielle, give us a little bit of your background. What grade are you in? How old are you? My name is Brielle. I am eight years old and I'm in the third grade. And you're in third grade here at Sage Oak. Okay. Awesome what did you ultimately decide to do your science project on? The five second rule. Does that ever happen to you in life where you drop something and you're like, oh, can I still eat it? Is it still good? Do I have five seconds? Okay. So you decided, okay, I'm going to do my science project on the five second rule. And what did you really want to test when you made this science project? What were you trying to find? I was trying to find out if it was myth or fact. Okay. If it was myth or fact. So the myth or the fact is that if it's only been on the ground for five seconds, it's totally fine. There's not a lot of germs on it. Right. So you had to test this. So how did you test this theory about five seconds. What did you do? My dad helped me pick out some food to drop them off the floor. And then after we did that, we tested it on the outside, in the inside and then we put them in a agar plates and we left them in a box that was heated for a couple days and then we set up my science board and that's how we did it. Okay. And so what was starting to happen to like the apples and the bread that made, do you think that they must have germs all over them? What did you see? I saw a lot of germs and agar plates, and it was really gross! What did it look like? It looked like really gross and they were yellow, kind of. You're seeing a lot of funky things happening . What else is happening? It stunk really bad. Oh no, it started to smell bad too.. Wow. That is pretty gross. So now on top of being a scientist and an experimenter, you're monitoring the results and you're actually documenting the process. You're taking pictures as you're going along, you're making notes as you're going along, and then now you're using that information on your board to give everybody a really thorough report, right? So they can see exactly this is the process that I went through., these are the changes that I was seeing. These are what it looked like before, what it looked like after all of that information. Did you like creating the science project? What part was your favorite? Well, my favorite part was testing the food. Because you get to to you get to put it on the floor for three seconds or 10 seconds because that's how long we did it for. And then we we took the cotton swab and we rubbed it on there and we put it in the agar plates. And then it was really fun because you get to test all of. Yeah. Do you like doing these kind of projects? Do you think this is a fun way to learn? Yeah. Why? Because when you learn more fun, then it makes you want to do it more. It does, right.? What would you say to other students I should do a science project? It sounds really hard and I don't know what to do. What would you tell them? They would tell 'em. They should probably just do it. because once they do it, they will regret if they did not.. Oh, that's a good point. Yeah, that is a good point. Well, Brielle, is there anything else that you want to share with me today or any of other students about the things that you're learning or any of the projects you're working on? Nothing I can think of. Okay. Well I can't wait to see the next project that you make. I think you've convinced me that the five second rule is definitely a myth. So thanks for that. You're saving me. I appreciate it. All right, Brielle. You have a great day, okay? Okay. Today I am joined with my special guest. She's one of our Sage Oak student. Her name is Eliana Gutierrez. And Eliana did an incredible science project. Welcome to the podcast, Eliana. So glad. Thank you so much for having me. You're welcome. Okay, before we dive into hearing all about your science project, first, tell us a little bit about yourself. How old are you, what grade are you? I'm 12 years old and I'm in seventh grade. And you're in seventh grade. did you know what you wanted to do your project?. It took a little while to figure it out. I used a website called Science Studies. Ooh. And they have tons of different projects on there for all ages. So, we kind of just looked on there, me and my family, and we found this project and it was really interesting Okay. That is so cool, and I love that your whole family's getting in on it now. Right. Because that's the way we do it here at Sage Oak it's like everybody gets involved. Right. And so you guys are on the website, Was most interesting to you? Which one did you pick? Well they had like some ideas on there, but we kind of, made it up as we went, and it was testing the strength of glues using wood. What made you want to test the different strengths of glue and what part of that did you guys kind of mix up and make your. Glue is really a part of our everyday lives from school crafts to the medical field.. So just, I really wanted to see which one was the most effective at holding wood together. Because I thought that was interesting. And they gave some ideas on the website, which we mostly used., but we kind of came up with some of our own mechanisms for the first design and the current design that we had. But yeah. That's so great. You guys are like personalized learning masters, right? You're like, okay, we're gonna take this idea but we're gonna make it our own cuz that's what we get to do. Right?, I love that. And it looks like that is exciting to you. Do you like being able to personalize your projects? I do. It gives you a lot of freedom to do your own thing. You don't have to be like confined to this certain thing. You can do whatever you want. It's a cool thing, right?. Yeah. It's so much more fun when you feel like you are doing an experiment that you're excited about. Like you wanna test certain things, right? Like certain ways that you wanted to test it and find the results. So, it's always more exciting when you're like going after something that you're really interested in versus just following directions, right? What happens on testing day? So I had my five glues and all the trial blocks were set up, so it was one smaller block glued onto a larger block. Okay. And it kind of gets a little bit mechanical, but it's, I'm gonna try to explain it, but we clamped the whole trial block onto a metal shelf as a good anchor point. And there was a wire loop fed through a hole in the smaller block. So that loop would be able to hold a crane scale and a ratchet tie down. And the crane scale was just there to record the amount of pressure that the glue could take. So it was just like a recording device and the ratchet tie down has a mechanism that you pull back and forth, and that will eventually pull the whip lock off. So that was kind of like our ropes to pull it off. So once we did, we had three trials for all that glue. So I recorded my data and then that was basically it for the experiment. And then I just had to assemble everything together. Wow. What a great explanation. What did your results tell you? Well, in the beginning I hypothesized that the Gorilla glue would be the strongest because it expands into the surface that you're gluing it to. But low and behold, at the end we found out that Elmer's school glue was the strongest out of all five glues. I can't believe that you told me that at the science fair when I saw your project. But I still can't believe it. How is that possible? Like it's called Gorilla Glue. It's supposed to be the strongest thing ever. How can Elmer's School glue be gorilla glue? I still don't understand. That's pretty great scientific work there. So nice job and really great job on that explanation as well. So cool. I'm so glad you had such a great experience doing your experiments. And that you really learned so much in the process. That is so cool. What advice would you give to students that maybe haven't tried doing a science project before? What would you tell them? I would say to, well for science, find a subject that you really, truly are interested in. Cause if you do a project you're not interested in, it's most likely not gonna be the best that it can be. And I also say to not give up. Your project gets frustrating or designs fail because I had multiple failed designs that didn't work. But when I persevered through that, it turned out to be a really great project. That is such good advice. Thank you Eliana, for giving us that good advice. I think you helped some kids today. I think you inspired some kids today. For sure. And I know that whenever I get a chance to talk with students and I get to hear them discovering things about themselves and discovering what they're passionate about and talking as articulately as you do it inspires me. So thank you very much for sharing your story with us today. I really appreciate. You did such a good job. Congratulations on the awesome project. And a win, right? Yes. Tell us about that. We forgot the good part. Tell us what you won at the science fair. Well, I did get first place for that and I got a certificate too. And just like seeing that the criteria and the the page that the judges gave me it was really cool to see. Some of the things that I did need to work on and also some of the things that I did. That was cool. That's awesome. I love that. Congratulations first place. Yes. We almost forgot the good part. All right, Eliana. Thanks so much for recording this podcast with me today. It was awesome. I can't wait to see your future projects. Yes, thank you. You're welcome. See ya. Today I have with me a Sage Oak student. I'm so happy to have her on the podcast. Her name is Penelope Davis, so Penelope, welcome to the Stage Studio Podcast. We're so glad to have you here. I'm so glad to be here. Thank you. All right, so for our listeners, tell 'em a little bit about yourself. I am 12 years old and I'm in seventh grade. Okay, so tell me, how long have you been at Sage Oak. This is actually my first year. This is your first year. Okay. I didn't realize that. That's so cool. You made a really great project and that is what we are here to chat about today. So this is actually my first science fair that I've ever done. I've never done a science fair before, so it's kind of a surprise to me on how well I did. What made you want to enter the science fair? My mom kind of made me and I thought it would be like really fun to do. Okay. Tell our viewers what what type of science project did you ultimately decide to do? I just had to do which fruit produces the most electricity. Okay. I love that. It's so, I, it's so fun. The juxtaposition of fruit producing electricity, like that seems like those two things would never go together. So that's just fun from the get-go. So now you have your idea how do you get started? How do you run electricity through a lemon or a piece of fruit? Tell me what you did. Okay, so first I like collected all of my supplies. For instance, the fruit. And I tested a lemon and orange and apple and a banana. and I collect, I got the voltage tester and then I also use copper in zinc. So then what you're gonna wanna do is grab the first fruit. You're going to test, stick the copper in zinc, halfway inside the fruit at opposite ends, and they need to be at opposite ends or else it won't give you a clear result. And then I turned on the voltage tester, and I used the red rod on the voltage tester and touched it to the copper. And then I used the black rod on the voltage tester and touched it to the. and then it gave me my results, and then I logged them and then I calculated the average. Wow. Okay. So this is very methodical. Did you ever once worry that the fruit was just going to explode on you? No, but I did test the lemon and I was kind of scared that when I would like, put something in the lemon, that lemon juice would squirt in my eyes. So I like stood back for that one. Yeah, I don't blame you. That's what I'd be worried about. I'd be like, listen, would I plug this in ? I don't want this thing to just blow up in my face, but okay, good. Luckily that didn't happen and you were able to do this really scientific research on all of the different types of fruits. All right, so what did you find?. I learned that like it's the potassium in the fruit. Cuz originally my hypothesis was that like the lemon would produce most electricity. Yeah. Cause it has a lot of like acidity, right? Sure. But it's actually like the potassium in it and the water content. and I also did a banana, but it didn't win or it didn't produce the most electricity because it didn't have enough water content. So that led to the apple producing the most electricity. But I was really surprised. Yes, that is surprising because I'm like tracking with you. I'm thinking lemon all the way, lot of acid, I don't know because of battery acid or something. I don't know. I'm thinking like that acid is really gonna, conduct the most electricity or, and voltage results. But then, . When you said the potassium, I was kind of with you like, oh, must be the banana. I bet it's the banana because that's gonna be the surprise here. It's the one with the most potassium. But you're right, you did make that key point that it has to have the potassium plus enough water. So now that you have had a chance to kind of do all those pieces, what part did you feel like you enjoyed the most or like we're really good at? I feel like I enjoyed like more like learning more. Cause I learned a lot from doing it. And I also I collaborated with my dad, so I also learned more about what my dad knows. And it was really fun to do. And I really like testing the fruit because it teaches you more.. What I thought was like really interesting like too was that like when you test the fruit, the voltage is so small, but it's millivolt. It's not even a full volt. That's really neat and I love that you worked with your dad on this project and. That he impressed you with his knowledge. Way to go, dad. That's awesome. He's literally like a Google . You can ask him anything and he'll answer it and like he'll be correct most of the time. Wow. Okay. You're lucky. That's awesome. What a great resource to have while you're working on all these projects, do you think that you would like to work on more projects? Do you like this style of learning, like hands-on, project-based learning? Is that fun? Yeah. Cause for me I guess like hands-on learning helps me like work more and it helps me like understand more. So I really like., what do you mean by that? How does that help you work more and understand more? Cause like you get to like if it was like you just read like a paragraph about it. I don't really get it sometimes, but when I like feel it and understand it more and have more hands on, then I get to understand it more. That's awesome. What would you tell students who feel like, . I'm not sure if it's something I wanna do. What would you tell them? I would tell them that it's like really fun and that they should do it, and it's like fun and you'll learn something from it. So it's like a win-win and like it's really easy too. It's like easygoing and positive thought lead to great things. So what a great , great way to close this out. What a great way to, kind of leave students with something that's super inspiring. I love that feeling. That's so great. Speaking of win-win, tell us how well you did in the science fair. So actually in the science fair, I got second place, so I was like really happy about that. But it was my first science first. I know. Wow. But, That's so great. Congratulations. That's a really big honor. Thank you. And we are so proud of you. We're so impressed by you. We are so glad that you have joined our Sage Oak community and that you are enjoying all of the project-based learning that comes along with it. And you're enjoying, spending the time learning with your family and making all of these projects. It's really awesome. Thank you so much for being on the podcast. I can't wait to share your story with other students. I know they're gonna love hearing about your experiments too, Thank you. You're welcome. Have a great day. Good to talk to you. You too.