Grade Six Science Symposium

Last week, sixth-graders shared their scientific research at the annual Grade Six Science Symposium. Prior to the symposium, each student posed a question / hypothesis about the natural world and then designed and implemented a specific experiment to support or disprove the hypothesis. In addition to presenting their conclusions, students highlighted their research methods and ways in which their original hypothesis would (or would not) change as a result of what they had learned from the experiment.
 
Questions delved into the realms of biology (Which snack will a horse eat first?), botany (Does the color of light affect the height of plant growth), chemistry (Will replacing baking soda with baking powder change the height of a cupcake) and physics (Does the flex of a hockey stick affect the speed of the shot to the goal and Will the design and shape of the tip of a paper airplane affect the distance and pattern of flight).
 
Reflecting on the symposium, Middle School Science teacher Teri Cosentino said "The students really did a great job, not simply with their experiments but with taking the results and using those as a jumping off point for refining their hypothesis or conducting new research."
 
Echoing her enthusiasm, Middle School Science teacher Noreen Syed offered, "What is so special about this project is that it is all student-led and student-driven. It all started with each sixth grader asking a question about a topic and then independently conducting experiments and testing outside of school. It is so wonderful to see them carrying out investigations on their own and presenting their findings as real scientists would in academia." She adds, "If they did not know how to use inquiry and the scientific method before, they sure do now!"
 
Congratulations to all of our sixth-graders on a job well done. A complete list of questions from the symposium is posted below.
 
Rob Alexy: How fast will a square, circular, and rectangular parachute fall from a height of 15ft connected to a 10g weight?
 
Riley Bittman: What type of boat hull will float the longest?
 
Austin Carey: Does the amount of sunlight affect plant growth?
 
Justin Carlucci: Does saltwater or freshwater evaporate faster?
 
Hunter Champey: How does the pH of foods differ?
 
Dakota Champey: Do bunnies eat carrots or celery faster?
 
Carmen Chaump: Will replacing baking soda with baking powder change the height of a cupcake?
 
Katie Chen: Does the type of snack affect what a horse will choose to eat first?
 
Jake Cohen: Which woods burns faster?
 
Coco Cooper: Will the temperature of the water affect the number of breaths the fish takes?
 
Ava DiCesare: Does the color of light affect the height of plant growth?
 
Ella DiFazio: Will the amount of ice cubes put in a glass of water affect the temperature decrease?
Nico Gattoni: How much salt does it take for an egg to float in fresh water?
 
Matt Getzoff: Will different types of salt affect the melting rate of an ice cube?
 
Ryan Getzoff: Does the flex of a hockey stick affect the speed of the shot?
 
Gillian Grant: Does a plant grow taller in a tub of water with fish or on land?
 
Brendan Halstead: How does filament type affect bulb life of incandescent light bulbs?
 
Patrick Henderlong: How much will an egg float if you add salt to the water?
 
Peter Horton: How many quarters can each piece of paper hold?
 
Clare Janas: How will the type of milk change the temperature of ice cream after 10 and 15 minutes?
 
Kevin Li: Will the design and shape of tip of a paper airplane affect the distance and pattern of flight?
 
Katie Lin: Will the type of bag and number of bananas contained in the bag affect the amount of time it takes for the bananas to ripen?
 
Matt Mazzatta: Does the mesh on a lacrosse stick affect the speed of the shot?
 
Josh Mulcahy: Will an acid or base affect the speed of the oxidization process of an apple?
 
Alia Messina: Which brand of toilet paper can hold the most quarters when wet in the middle?
 
Tristen Miscia: Does the angle of the rocket affect the distance an RC car will travel?
 
Becca Moore: Will the materials in the different fabrics alter the diameter of the dye stain?
 
Sara Pakka: Does the amount of food you eat affect how long you sleep?
 
Nicholas Parlavecchio: Does the mass of a lemon make a digital clock stay on longer?
 
Akshay Patel: Does the surface of the car’s track after rolling down a ramp affect the distance it travels?
 
Hannah Politsky: How fast do different types of confectionaries dissolve in water and seltzer?
 
Aidan Richardson: Does the mass of the Nerf bullet affect how far it travels?
 
Ethan Richardson: Does the string of a yoyo affect spin time?
 
Lucas Robins: Will the angle that you shoot at affect the number of goals scored?
 
Caroline Rongen: Will the size of a fish tank affect how big a fish will grow?
 
Lauren Rossiter: How do different water types affect their pH?
 
Luke Ruggiero: What cheese molds the fastest?
 
Abigail Saitta: Does the type of soil affect the time it takes to germinate?
 
James Schadt: Does the mass of a yoyo affect how long a yoyo spins?
 
Daniel Taylor: Does the thickness of the shoe sole affect how high you jump?
 
Tyler Tellalian: Does the time the emulsion is shaken (two liquids that do not mix) affect the rate at which the two liquids separate?
 
Katie Udoff: Will Elmer's School Glue make the most ideal stretchiest slime?
 
Philip Vayntrub: Which Popsicle stick bridge can support more mass (g): Truss or Arch?
 
Sofia Walz: How long will slime stretch before the breaking point if it is made with different laundry detergents?
 
Drew Vollrath: How much longer can an iPhone battery survive while not being used compared to being used?
 
Zack Wendell: Does the amount of caffeine affect the reaction of Coke and Mentos?
 
Jasmine Zhao: Does the amount of baking soda affect the time it takes for the vinegar and water mixture to stop bubbling?
 
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Gill St. Bernard’s is a private, coeducational day school for students age three through grade 12, located in suburban New Jersey. Each of the three school divisions provides a vigorous, meaningful and age-appropriate curriculum, and all students benefit from the environmental learning opportunities that exist on our 208-acre campus.