Urbana School District Monthly
June 2010
King Elementary
Leal Elementary
Prairie Elementary
Thomas Paine Elementary
Urbana High School
Urbana Middle School
Washington Early Childhood
Wiley Elementary
Yankee Ridge Elementary

Science on Display at Thomas Paine Elementary School

The Thomas Paine Elementary School science fair is an annual rite of spring for students in all grades. This past month, budding scientists displayed their projects for not only the rest of the school, but for neighboring Wiley Elementary School students.

Thomas Paine science fair
Science projects were on display last month at the annual Thomas Paine Science Fair.

Phyllis Peete, Thomas Paine 5th Grade Teacher, coordinates the science fair every year, as she has for over 30 years. "What you're seeing here is the students putting the scientific method into practice by becoming young scientists, coming up with a problem, hypothesis, doing an expiriment to get data, using that data to come up with a conclusion," Peete explains.

Peete says the students did a great job this year and she was impressed with the projects.

How important is this science fair? Peete comments, "We don't know who we might have here. We might have the next
Einstein; the next person to make a great discovery." Peete adds that this exercise is important for the students to look for an answer to a problem and coming up with an answer to a problem.

The science fair started in Peete's fifth grade class, and over the past three decades as expanded to an all-school affair. Why does Peete like coordinating the annual Thomas Paine Science Fair? "Science is fun! Science was my major in college so that's why I started doing science fairs. Teaching at elementary school you don't get to teach science all day. Kids need this and they need to understand that science is interesting - it's a lot of reading, it's a lot of research, but it's interesting," Peete says.

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