SHORT HILLS, NJ - The Hartshorn School conducted its own experiment with their first science expo. The all-day program featured challenges, timed activities, as well as activities involving several sciences; biology, chemistry, engineering and physics. Students as well as parents are encouraged to work together to make new discoveries, and even mistakes, as way to fully experience the activities.  Millburn High School students, and teachers also conducted demonstrations.

“We did not want to do the traditional ‘do your experiments at home with your parent’ and then bring it to school, and we will judge it,” said Hartshorn PTO Vice President of Communications, Karen Horowitz.

Students were divided into three sessions, keeping the science activities age appropriate. For children who registered in advance, they teamed up with classmates and worked through the challenges together. The challenges allowed the kids to solve real life problems using their scientific abilities acquired through previous classes and the expo itself.

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Three different timed activities, open to all grade levels, were scheduled throughout the day. In ‘Chef Watson’ and ‘Watson Medicine’ students interacted with the IBM Watson program to create new recipes and learn how ‘Watson’ helps physicians to diagnose and treat diseases. ‘Time for Something Really Cool!’ provides students to experiment with dry ice and the effects that no kid can resist.

Participants were kept on their toes throughout the day with continuous activities offered. Volunteers running the eternal activities taught students how to make a snap circuit and launch a stomp rocket. In ‘Get to Know Your Insides!’ the body beneath the skin and the five senses were examined. Physics was explored during “Up, Down and All Around”, in which students built a roller coaster and learned about the forces acting in a “loop-the-loop”.

“This is so much better than the traditional science fair” said Kenneth Frattini, The Hartshorn School Principal. “These kids are having a very interesting and unique experience, with the three different layers.”

Also joining the science expo, Laura Zhang (6th grader at Millburn Middle) and her teammate Mira Ramasamy (6th grader at Morristown-Beard), show the younger students how their robot picks up and shoots balls. They won one of the top spots at the 2015-16 Vex IQ NJ State Competition this past December and are headed to Nationals on April 21st.

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