BLENDed Science Fair

Today’s Contributor: Roger Grape has been a librarian at Blackshear Elementary for seven years, and was an elementary classroom teacher for nine years before that. He is a father, husband, yoga instructor, runner, and beekeeper.


It’s Science Fair time! At least it is at my school, Blackshear Elementary Fine Arts Academy. 😉 We like to get an early start on it so that students have plenty of time to do their experiments, gather data, compose their written statements, and put their science boards together.

Last year, while working with our G/T students, I noticed that we only had a few (mostly outdated) science experiment books in the library. Students also needed science board headings and layout ideas. So with the help of Technology Design Coach Extraordinaire Erica De Los Santos, I created a new BLEND course called Science Fair Resources. Modules include Science Fair Project Ideas/Links, Science Board Headers, and Science Board Examples. BLEND allowed me to share these resources with all AISD librarians, which led to some of them adding to the course and making it their own.

I have sent the Science Fair Resources course to the 27 fourth grade students whom I work within a G/T program. The hardest part has been helping the students log in to their portal and Google accounts, but they are getting better each time they do it. Before I introduced the BLEND course, I modeled how to log in on my EduDisplay and went from table to table making sure everyone was able to figure out their unique password, based on the District’s guidelines. The students have been using the course to explore science fair project ideas on 19 different websites, including Spanish language sites. They are also able to download the science fair headings (Project Title, Question, Hypothesis, Materials, etc.) and look at other science board examples. For many of these students, it has been their first exposure to BLEND and their student Google Drive (about which they get very excited when they realize they have their own email address). I’m glad they are able to get experience with BLEND and Google Drive before they move on to middle school.

Do you have suggestions on anything that I could add to this BLEND course? If so, please email me at roger.grape@austinisd.org. Thanks!

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