Each year at Cayman International School, a science fair is held under the name of the Curiosity Fair.
It is run by Mariska de Klerk, a secondary science teacher, and this year she is joined by Mike Neeland, another secondary science teacher.
The Curiosity Fair is a project that makes students think about everyday topics that they have questions about and then allows them to conduct a scientific experiment around the topic. For the traditional project, students can do anything from how Mentos candies react when placed in different soda pops or if potatoes can power a light bulb.
This year some of the eighth grade has been given the opportunity to do projects on environmental issues or on famous scientists. These students will pick an environmental issue and write about the pros and cons that it will cause for the world. They could write about one-use plastics and how they affect sea animals or they could write about sea-level rise and how it will affect small islands and the coast.
For the students who choose to do a project on a scientist, they will research the scientist’s greatest accomplishment and present it like it is their own. For example, Albert Einstein discovered the mass-energy equivalence formula, E=mc2. However, the students will research what other scientists, if any, were involved and what events were going on in the world when he made his discovery, and what influence it had on the world.
All students will present their work in front of their class before the actual Curiosity Fair. This is so that if there are any problems, the students can correct them before the fair. All of the projects will be assessed based on the students’ understanding of the topic, the quality of the presentation and the writing section.
During the actual Curiosity Fair, high school science teachers and high school students will also be walking around asking students questions about their experiments and the experience of doing it.
Lauren Colaiacovo is a Grade 8 student at Cayman International School.