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KIPP Heartwood Middle School September 2018 - May 2019

In our second year at KIPP Heartwood Academy in East San Jose, we are continuing to lead weekly after school enrichment s every Tuesday where we build upon students' scientific curiosity and perform scientific experiments. Under our guidance, our ten students are asking questions, developing them, and conducting their own research projects. Last year, one of our students, Nathaniel Johnson, participated in Synospys science fair. This year, under co-founder Adishree's and KIPP alumni Nathan's guidance, 7 students plan on participation in the fair. 

DAY 1: September 4, 2018

Adishree and Nathan introduced our program and some basic science principles. We did the fear of watching experiment where, for example, Person A stands behind Person B, and Person B has to determine based on intuition if Person A was watching them. It ended up being super organic because Adishree and Nathan weren't expecting it to be a psychology thing. However, that’s what it ended up being—a guessing game on what the person behind was thinking. The kids did recognize this though and were able to analyze it organically. We reflected on what better experimentation procedures could be used on this same question. 

DAY 2: September 11, 2018

We taught the impact & prevalence of STEM in our lives and went over the variables in experiments – independent variables, dependent variables, controls, and constants. We did the strawberry DNA extraction experiment where we crushed the strawberries then poured in alcohol and pulled out the white fibery DNA. The kids weren’t as interested just based on the description, but as we started to work through the experiment, they were really excited and loved it.

DAY 3: September 18, 2018

We planted seeds in different liquids (water, sugar water, salt water, coffee, and tea) to see how different liquids affect plant growth. We had lots of fun mixing the liquids to dissolve the sugar/salt, and many of our kids were surprised to learn that water does not necessarily need to be hot to dissolve things.

DAY 3: September 18, 2018

We planted seeds in different liquids (water, sugar water, salt water, coffee, and tea) to see how different liquids affect plant growth. We had lots of fun mixing the liquids to dissolve the sugar/salt, and many of our kids were surprised to learn that water does not necessarily need to be hot to dissolve things.

DAY 3: September 18, 2018

We planted seeds in different liquids (water, sugar water, salt water, coffee, and tea) to see how different liquids affect plant growth. We had lots of fun mixing the liquids to dissolve the sugar/salt, and many of our kids were surprised to learn that water does not necessarily need to be hot to dissolve things.

DAY 4: September 26, 2018

Our kids got in pairs and built structures out of pasta and marshmallows. We showed them some basic principles first (like the power of triangles in strengthening a structure). At the start, the kids were a little lost, but they soon found their way. Some kids had a really strong intuition for this, and some followed the guiding principles we talked about really closely. We had one group build a structure that could hold 9 markers which was really awesome. 

DAY 4: September 26, 2018

Our kids got in pairs and built structures out of pasta and marshmallows. We showed them some basic principles first (like the power of triangles in strengthening a structure). At the start, the kids were a little lost, but they soon found their way. Some kids had a really strong intuition for this, and some followed the guiding principles we talked about really closely. We had one group build a structure that could hold 9 markers which was really awesome. 

DAY 5: October 2, 2018

We reflected on our plant experiment, took measurements of the plants, and analyzed the results. It was so awesome to see the enthusiasm and interest in the actually pretty surprising results.