A super science fair at Brown School

Brown School student Max Schaffner crafts a wooden chess piece from scratch. Photo by Ryan Vermette

More than 200 students from kindergarten to the third grade participated in the Lucretia and Joseph Brown Elementary School’s second annual STEAM fair Thursday as family members, teachers, and others came out to the school’s gymnasium to support their student scientists.

Projects at the fair ranged from a miniature ski lift, to making wooden chess pieces and, of course, lots and lots of volcanoes. 

The event was organized by the school’s parent-teacher organization and was a tradition brought back and carried over from the old Bell School.

“This is something that our current principal, Mary (Maxfield) wanted to bring to the school, bring parents together, bring students together outside of the school setting,” PTO member Karla Strobel said.

The fair was introduced to students at a community meeting in February, as well as in their respective classrooms. Afterward, students worked on their projects from home and set up their stations early Thursday afternoon for their fellow students to have a chance to look at one another’s projects. 

“It’s great because it’s such a community activity,”  Strobel said. “We have pre-K students who did projects and then all the way up to third grade. Some of them worked independently, some of them worked with a friend or two.”

More than half of the students at the elementary school participated in the STEAM fair. Twelve guest judges were on hand as well, chosen from teachers and staff at the school. Each judge visited every booth with a list, talking with each student about their project, and awarding them with a ribbon for their hard work.

The projects also allowed students to focus on topics that they are passionate about.

“Some of them take something they learned in school that they’re interested in learning more about. And others it’s like something totally different than anything they’ve covered in school,” PTO member Katie Schmeckpeper said.