Enthusiasm was contagious at Sciencepalooza

District students K-5 sharing their passion to experiment

three young students dressed as scientists

Sciencepalooza was a huge success, with more than one hundred students taking part – and near equal participation from Lincoln, Glendaal, Glen-Worden, and Sacandaga Elementary Schools.

The new Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Rick Arket, was thrilled to introduce the very first districtwide science fair for the four S-G elementary schools. Along with Matt Hubbell, the Head of the Science Department, Mr. Arket planned the event to provide K-5 students with a platform to showcase their scientific skills and interests. 

“There was a great positive energy at the fair. I loved seeing the students have the opportunity to interact with their peers from the other elementary schools,” said Mr. Arket. “It was amazing to see all the hard work our junior scientists put into their projects. I was so impressed by their effort.” 

student showing principal his projectYoung scientists from kindergarten to fifth grade were eager to explain their projects. One student experimented with testing the best methods for cleaning dirty water, while others had tested which sanitizer works best

Students and families excitedly visited the projects of others, discussing the science behind each experiment. One student proudly said, “I tried to see if different types of soil would affect how sunflowers grow.” Another group experimented with what makes cut roses last longer. They tested nine roses separately. Along with water, they added substances like bleach, pennies, batteries, popcorn, sugar, aspirin, energy drink, flower food, and one with plain water. The rose that stayed prettier longer had a battery in it. One of the students who did this experiment said the rose in sugar water died and came back to life.

Superintendent Susan Swartz walked around the different stations, admiring the creativity and hard work. “It was wonderful to watch students from different schools interact, share ideas, and learn from each other,” said Superintendent Swartz. As she stopped at a project where a student tested whether the cookie dough in two different ice cream brands could bake as cookies, she asked the student what made him think of that. He answered, “I just wondered.”

“In my 20 years of teaching, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen so many smiling little faces beaming with pride,” said Glen-Worden teacher and science fair judge, David Lippiello.  

Science fair judge, David Lippiello encourages G-W junior scientist

As the students were getting feedback from judges, Mr. Lippiello knelt down to be eye level with them and their projects. “You knocked our socks off,” he said to a Glen-Worden student.

He encouraged her to keep exploring and congratulated her for using many different talents to complete her project. “You’re a scientist. You’re a writer. You’re a reader. You’re an artist. You did all these things together. Do you see that? You can do any of these things. Anything you want,” Mr. Lippiello said. 

What made the science fair truly stand out was the sense of community it created. The high school National Honor Society students who volunteered during the science fair added to the event’s success, providing support in setting up, organizing the students at their science stations, and helping to interview the K-5 students. 

As the science fair came to a close, there was still one more surprise in store for the students. An interactive animal show had been arranged, with a presenter bringing out creepy crawlers like snakes, spiders, turtles, and a komodo dragon. The students were fascinated by the creatures. You could see the excitement in their eyes as they learned about each one. The animal show was the perfect end to a perfect day. 

animal show

student putting windmill togetherThe buzz around the schools is that many students are already talking about what they will create for next year’s Sciencepalooza.

Mr. Arket and Mr. Hubbell, are already making plans to expand the event, hoping to bring in even more students from across the district. “The science fair was a fantastic community event that showed our students have a high level of interest in science. All the participants worked hard and did an excellent job on their projects, while at the same time having fun! I’m looking forward to next year’s science fair,” said Mr. Hubbell.