Return to Headlines

Ocee Elementary Takes Science Fairs to the Next Level

Rather than simply imparting scientific facts, Ocee Elementary School wants to impart a sense of scientific innovation and possibility to their students. The school has partnered with the Discover Science Center to build a program that teaches science in a hands-on, real-world fashion.

Five classrooms are set up with different science experiments, aligned with concepts the students will learn during the school year. The fifth grade Science-X day has a Technology and Engineering theme, and the fourth grade Science-X day will be aligned with Space and Science.

In fifth grade, students experiment with building robots that draw, taking apart old toys to learn about circuitry, using LEGO Mindstorm kits to build their own robots, making greeting cards with light or sound elements, and coding their own apps. Each classroom experiment was hosted by a Discover Science Center instructor and parent volunteers.

“Science-X gives the opportunity for students to be scientists for a whole day and engage in exciting hands-on activities. Kids of all ages can enjoy science and through programs like Science-X, we hope to spark future interests while instilling a lifelong love of science,” said Ocee Elementary Foundation Science-X Coordinator Jorie Clements.

The Discover Science Center is a science education enrichment center, providing after-school programs, summer camps, Girl Scout workshops, and more. This is the second year of their partnership with Ocee Elementary, which was facilitated by parent volunteer and Science-X Coordinator Jorie Clements.

For Discover Science Center founder Tonya Shearer, it’s all about planting a spark and opening students’ eyes and minds to the world of scientific possibility.

“All of our programs are hands-on,” Shearer said.  “It’s about doing the science, not just hearing about it.”

Programs like Science-X represent one way Ocee Elementary underscores the district’s commitment to student achievement and community collaboration. Each activity has specific objectives and procedures, so students, teachers and volunteers are able to clearly see what lessons are intended for each station.

"Our Science-X program is driven by our S.T.E.A.M. Focused Instruction initiative in our strategic plan,” said Dr. Ryan Moore, principal of Ocee Elementary. “We have worked hand-in-hand with our Ocee Elementary Foundation to fund and support the growth of the program for all grades. We’re excited about the partnership and what it means for our students.”

collage of students working on science projects