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Kent Place Middle School Science Expo Showcases Student Research Projects

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Sixth graders Jaiden Park of Franklin Lakes and Elizabeth Laurence of Montclair presenting their project “Spray Away My Hair.”
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Sixth graders Samara Grannum of Watchung and Isabella Diaz of Roselle Park presenting their project “How Much Bacteria Do You Think Your Mouthwash Kills?”
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Kent Place teachers, students and families gathered on Wednesday, March 4, for an evening celebrating scientific exploration. They observed research projects created by Middle School students on display in Kent Place’s Great Room for the annual Science Expo. 

Kent Place Upper School students and members of the Science National Honor Society were on hand to support their younger counterparts. They conducted peer reviews and took pictures. An award ceremony followed the presentations. 

The sixth grade students’ research projects tested various claims made about consumer products. For example, a team hypothesized how effective certain antibacterial products are in killing bacteria. Sixth graders presented their research using tri-fold boards.

Seventh grade students were challenged to create “Sustainable Cities.” They were asked to collaborate together as a class and build a sustainable city, addressing various environmental issues that the earth is currently facing. In the process of creating their modern model cities, the students applied the engineering process and learned practical skills regarding design, electricity and renewable resources. 

The eighth grade Expo projects focused on “Science in Your Life.” Students built on their knowledge of the scientific process as they experienced firsthand how science concepts apply to real world situations. Through their research and experiments they expanded their understanding of everyday phenomena. As they gathered new information, their original opinions often changed. They learned that questioning is the starting point to deeper understanding. 

“Preparing for the Middle School Science Expo is by far the most exciting time of the year,” stated Wendy Hall, Kent Place Science Department Chair. “I wish everyone could be a fly on the wall and see what transpires during each class. The buzz of scientific talk, problem solving and collaboration is infectious; on Expo night we celebrated science and the amazing work of our students.”

The goal of the Kent Place science program is to foster an excitement and enthusiasm for learning about the natural world in an atmosphere of scientific inquiry. Through the process of independent research, lab practicals and demonstrations, students learn to manipulate the tools of a scientist and to observe, record, analyze and draw conclusions as they solve scientific questions. By the end of Middle School, students have learned both investigative laboratory skills and a body of scientific knowledge in a broad range of scientific disciplines that will serve as a solid foundation for future laboratory research courses. For more information please visit, www.kentplace.org.

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