Science Fair's Positive Impact on Younger and Older Students

As part of our Teacher Appreciation Week series, Steve Adubato goes on-location to the 2017 NJEA Convention to sit down with Vondalyn Fannin, M.Ed., Technology Education Teacher and Chairwoman of the Science Committee at Franklin Elementary School, to discuss the school-wide science fair that impacts students young and old.

5/9/18 # 2141







"Welcome to One on One. I'm Steve Adubato. Recently I went to the NJEA Convention in Atlantic City to sit down with Vondalyn Fannin, a technology education teacher at Franklin Elementary School in Trenton, New Jersey, to discuss the importance of exposing students to careers in STEM at a very early age. Here now is that conversation. One of the things I really enjoy, especially enjoy, here at the NJEA Convention in Atlantic City is meeting some of the educators that are featured in a wonderful series called Classroom Close-up, seen on NJTV, our public television station in the state, and here she is right now, she is Vondalyn Fannin, Technology Education Teacher, and Chairwoman, Science Committee, Franklin Elementary School, in the state capital? Yes. Trenton? Yes. So we're about to see this Classroom Close-up video, that... it's just so powerful in so many ways. When did you know you wanted to go into teaching? Hmm. When I was in college, and one of my professors really was a mentor, and we talked about a lot of things, and I shied away from teaching actually, initially. Hmm. I wanted to be a lawyer. But I did my first class actually, in college. And she was very impressed. And she told me that that was my true passion, and I should follow it. Well you did the right thing, because of what you're about to see. Check this out. This is about a science fair... what are the ages of the kids? The... well actually, it's the entire school. Kindergarten through fifth grade. Our younger children do their projects with their teachers in class. 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th this year did their own individual projects. This is absolutely, categorically amazing. Check out this video. It tells a powerful story about the work you are doing with your colleagues, but also the impact that it's having on students and their parents, and we'll come back and talk right after this. Mm hmm. [music playing] What happens to the marine life when the oil spills into the ocean? I reflect it into the mirror so I can reflect the light up. This science fair at Franklin Elementary is not your typical school event. The entire school is involved in the science fair, from Kindergarten through 5th grade. Not only do all students participate, but they also judge each other's work. We have a kid's choice award for 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade. And all of our boards are numbered, so the kids don't know who's who. And they have to vote on their best. So what..."