The 1199SEIU/Employer Child Care Corporation’s Future of America Learning Center (FALC) of Bronx, New York proudly celebrated its 27th Annual Science Fair with a full week extravaganza of children’s project presentations, virtual displays and “in-house” field trips from Monday, March 27, 2023, through Friday, March 31, 2023. This is the first time since the onset of the pandemic that FALC opened its doors to families and invited guests to visit the center floor at scheduled times to actively engage in and marvel at the culmination of science, technology, relationships, engineering, arts and math (STREAM)-infused exhibits and hands-on experiments, based on the science fair’s overarching essential question of “How Do the Elements of Nature Affect Us?”
This year, young scholars ages 2 to 5 took on a scientific journey of land, air, sea and space to unravel some mysteries of our world, with their teachers as trusted guides. They had creative license to navigate the science fair theme and make authentic connections to sensorial exploration, mindfulness/spiritual wellness, natural disasters and phenomena, current events, technological advances/inventions, relative professions, and health/safety/security matters in the comfort of their classrooms’ learning stations and on-site STREAM lab. During the event, students confidently presented their action-based research, sharing knowledge about their experience and process. They had “prime time” to publicly showcase their scientific learning, experiments and family projects about earth, air, water, fire and space, answering questions such as, “How do I explore the five elements? How can we explore our earth? What effects does the element of fire have on the earth? Why is space exploration important to our environment? How does water affect living things and our environment? What benefits can we get from the land/earth? How does wind affect our environment?”
FALC continuously strives to serve as a catalyst for change and transformative learning. The annual science fair has been a long-time staple of our program’s curriculum and family engagement activities, focusing on the quality of process and interaction instead of the end product. This interdisciplinary approach to learning exemplifies FALC’s Plant-A-Dream curriculum design, which connects children to the real and natural world. Using varied activities and materials based on the theory of multiple intelligences as the entry point, students are encouraged to ask questions, develop hypotheses, reflect, explore, observe, collaborate and integrate their curiosity, creativity and learning into their everyday lives.