Page 21 - FIS World November 2021
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 another group is working on an FIS Science and Technology Conference, previously known as FIS Science Symposium, which they hope to hold in the spring of 2022. They plan to include external presenters and student speakers from other local and international schools at the conference who will share their research across various scientific disciplines.
"Through the FISSTC, students who have an interest in any particular science subject can explore beyond the classroom and develop their research with other passionate members, resulting in an exchange and enhancement of ideas,” said Grade 11 student and President of the FISSTC, Woojun L.
“Exploring their scientific interests outside of the classroom makes them the head of their exploration of science," adds Grade 11 student and Chief Advisor to FISSTC, James H. “It not only allows for a lot more creativity within a chosen field of science, but helps build an appreciation for and interest in science.”
We basically want to convey that science is cool. Science isn’t just about formulas. It’s about fun, exploration and collaboration.
Although the bulk of the student-led science clubs are concentrated within the Upper School, one group of students is hoping to ignite a passion for science in younger students as well. Enter the Grade 4 and 5 “Science for Fun” REAL Activity, developed and led by four Grade 11 students. While the course will be overseen by Mr. Brown, he says, “I’m totally hands off with them. They literally organize everything themselves.”
During the course, participants will conduct a different science experiment each week. The class is intended to be an active one where everyone can take part. “The aim is to create a level of excitement and interest in science by doing the fun stuff first and then explaining the science behind it,” said one of the club’s student organizers, Filippa E.“We basically want to convey that science is cool. Science isn’t just about formulas. It’s about fun, exploration and collaboration. If I was in Grade 4 and there would have been an opportunity for me to do experiments in an Upper School science lab, that would have been so cool,” she said.
While hard science is at the core of all of these groups, there are other important crossover skills students are also gaining through their participation: analysis, writing, public speaking, creativity and critical thinking, collaboration, leadership, ethics and more.
Students in
the Middle School Science Club take their learning to
new heights through various rocket launch investigations
  There is a service component as well. The Upper School’s Engineering Club was originally formed by students from the Class of 2021 who were curious about using easily accessible scrap to improve real- world problems. With the school’s Kalahari Experience as an example, they wondered whether it might be possible to generate electricity or develop water purification systems using the parts from an old washing machine; the work students started in 2021 has continued with Upper School students this year, and proceeds from the ES Science Club’s course will be donated to one of the school’s service charities, Operation Smile.
As each of the group members spoke about the purpose of their clubs and their involvement, something became evident. There is synergy between the students’ desire not only to create rewarding experiences for themselves and their peers, but also simply for learning and discovery. With that foundation in place, there are no limits to where their knowledge – and passion – will take them.
Ryan Karr
FIS World writer
Other student-led science clubs not mentioned in this article include the Middle School Science Club, FIS Inquiry Lab (InqLab club) and FIS Robotics Team
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