One of my earliest posts in this blog talked about how I spent part of my Christmas holidays in 2013 checking 80 investigatory project papers of the entire Grade 7 in my school. If I had not put my foot down and gave them an “ultimatum”, I think only a few would have turned in their papers.
I had repeatedly reminded the girls as early as August to start with their experiments as soon as I was able to approve their topics and their methodologies. They were to work in groups (thank God!) and if I am not mistaken, I could literally count in one hand – one hand! – those groups who actually took the activity seriously. Sure, they had almost the entire year to work on it. But I think what most of these girls failed to see was the amount of work that writing a paper entailed.
When we went back to school this January, we spent the first two weeks refining their papers and getting ready for their oral defense. I had to choose two groups who will compete in the Science Congress. It wasn’t hard because I could already see which groups had the most potential from the get-go.
We had the Science Congress on the 3rd week of February where the best IPs for the school year were presented, from the Grade 7 up to the Year IV. After the Congress, the girls were asked to evaluate what they learned in the activity. Many of them came to realize how serious the Science Congress was. A lot of them were impressed with the older girls, especially those groups who experimented with new products and actually sent samples to both private and government labs for testing.
I must say, I too am rightly impressed. The dedication that the older girls demonstrated and their seeking expert opinion to lend more credibility to their results was truly commendable. The teams who went on to compete in Congress were all commendable. These teams were the ones who had set aside time in their busy schedules (they simply had a lot of activities this quarter) to work on their respective projects. They had members who were self-regulated enough to draft a plan and follow it through.