Photos by Chandler S. ’17
If the photos are any indication, the hippest and most wholesome party in town was Family Science Night last Friday, and the emcee of this fun, funky mess was Laura Trout, FSN’s creator and chairwoman of the Country Day science department.
“It is fun to stand back and look at so many kids having a blast and think, ‘I did this. With a lot of help, that is,’” Trout said. “Every year I have a group of moms and dads that help with everything, and I couldn’t do it without them.” In addition, more than 25 Upper School students volunteered manning the activity stations.
The unofficial attendance numbers say 2016 drew a record crowd, with all 200 churning, bubbling Matter Monsters gone by 7 p.m., and so many successful entrants in the first ever Naked Egg Drop competition that Trout has already decided next year’s Drop is going to have some stricter egg-catcher specs.
Keith Tarvin, father of Reagan ’25, built the dropping contraption after Trout “asked him if he wanted a little challenge.” This year’s contest replaced the Linguine Bridge event of years past with a new problem for students to solve: Build the smallest device to catch a dropped egg without breaking it.
Competition was so tight that in all three divisions the winners were determined by tiebreaker. That is, all first- and second-place catchers successfully cradled eggs dropped from 15 feet, so the determining factor became the height of the catcher.
The Middle School Science Fair coincides with Family Science Night and affords a unique glimpse into students’ potential and dedication. “It’s not just the science, which is intense and difficult enough, it’s that this is a big, cross-discipline project,” said Middle School Science Teacher Chris Collins. She and compatriot Ned Bushong help the seventh and eighth graders see their efforts through.
“The kids have been working on this since the summer, it’s the biggest writing project they’ve ever done, and then there’s the public speaking aspect, because students have to actually explain what they’ve done. It’s a project that brings in a lot of skills and takes a lot of time, but is absolutely worth it,” Collins said.
Two other additions made Family Science Night 2016 a unique event: The Lower School Science Fair expanded to include new projects for first grade and kindergarten, and 10 students from Country Day’s first Horizons class joined in on the learning and fun.
“They had a wonderful time and it was a nice opportunity to introduce kids to the broader Country Day community and introduce the community to them,” said Horizons founder and fifth-grade teacher Meg Reed.
Horizons is a national program that partners with independent schools to help low-income students succeed academically. This summer’s six-week program with rising first-graders from the School District of Lancaster was the first in what will become a larger effort that supports kids year after year.
“I mean, we had a science museum set up in the school,” Reed said. “How could we not take advantage of that?”
Middle School Science Fair Results
1) Livvy N.
2) Janani I.
3) Wes G.
Evie A., Tony A., Ethan B., Christian F., Abby G., Grace G., Giuliet K., Hasan M., Gabriel M., Tess M., Dylan P., Jonah R., Anna S.
1) Arielle B.
2) Abbey B.
3) Kent P.
Thomas C., Lisa E., Luke F., Ben K., Annika K., Rohan K., Lance L., Lucas N., Alison N., Alex V., Amelia W., Conal O’C., Linnea W.
Naked Egg Drop Competition Results
Preschool-Second Grade Category
1) Colton C. ’28 Egg Height: 15 feet *
2) William D. ’26 Egg Height: 15 feet
3) Jace E. ’28 Egg Height: 15 feet
* Tiebreaker — Colton won with an egg-catcher height of 13 cm
Third-Fifth Grade Category
1) Reese R. ’25 Egg Height: 15 feet *
2) Cara C. ’25 Egg Height: 15 feet
3) Jolie A. ’25 Egg Height: 105 inches
* Tiebreaker — Reese won with an egg-catcher height of 22 cm
Upper School Category
1) Caroline F. ’17 Egg Height: 15 feet *
2) James L. ’17 Egg Height: 15 feet
3) Carter A. ’18 Egg Height: 15 feet
* Tiebreaker — Caroline won with an egg-catcher height of 10 cm