Elementary science can be so much fun to teach! Want to know the day my students looked forward to most when I taught 2nd Grade? SCIENCE DAY!
Are you wondering what exactly is Science Day? Science Day is a day that I would plan at the end of each school year. The purpose of this day was to help us review our science standards by learning from local professionals in our community.
I would invite local professionals to come in and teach a short, 10-15 minute lesson. Classes had the opportunity to rotate through the different presenters and learn a lot of interesting standards-based elementary science content!
Want to plan a science day for your students? I’m going to show you how. But before we get started, here are some things to consider.
What should you consider?
Before you get to planning, there are a few things that you need to determine first!
- Think about the elementary science standards you have taught this year. Then think about some of the science standards students may have learned in previous years. These are both fair game! Science standards often build on each other or are revisited in other grades, so there’s nothing wrong with reviewing those too! You want to look for people who can teach your students something related to any of these standards.
- How many students do you want to participate in Science Day? You can plan it for just your class, for the whole grade level, or even the whole school. Would you rather the event take place during school hours or as an after-school event?
- Think about your school day. How much time do you have for Science Day altogether? You’ll need to divide the total amount of time that you have by the number of classrooms you will have. Determining this can help you determine how much time each presenter will have.
- If you’re planning for Science Day to take place during the school day, you must remember to plan around lunch. As you are planning, you need to determine when students will have lunch. Will they eat at their normal time? If they are participating, can all students in your grade level have lunch together? Something we always loved doing was having a picnic together outside! This was fun for the kids and because our grade level all went out for our picnic at the same time, it kept things consistent.
How to invite professionals to your science day
Now that you’ve ironed out the details, it’s time to figure out the fun part! Who should you invite to your Science Day?
In your community, there are many people who use science to do their jobs. You may be wondering where and how to find these people. Two places that I found to be great resources were the local library and local colleges. Both of these places will help you get your foot in the door within your community to begin finding scientists to invite.
It may feel difficult to pinpoint who exactly to invite, but even the more common jobs use science within their day-to-day operations. Even electricians, meteorologists, farmers, architects, and construction workers should be able to share what they do from a scientific standpoint!
It’s important to give your presenters clear expectations of how Science Day will flow and what will be expected of them. A few important things to share with them are below.
- Have an idea of what objectives the presenter will be focusing on. What will students be able to do by the end of the session? Telling presenters this information can have them stay on topic and give them purpose.
- Think about how much time you will give your presenters to share. Consider transition time as well. Allowing the presenter to know this information upfront can help them be prepared to share it with the class.
- Where will Science Day be located? Will it take place in your classroom, a multipurpose room, or outdoors? During what time of day will it occur? Will presenters rotate to different classes or will different classes rotate to the presenter? Where can presenters keep their belongings? Give this information upfront to make presenters feel comfortable and welcomed. Don’t forget to show them where the restrooms are either!
- Share a phone number with presenters so they can text any questions they may have prior to or during Science Day. This will help them a ton!
- Need help with presentation guides for your presenters? Check out my Distance Learning Science Bundle to guide you! This bundle contains information about each science topic and can help your presenter connect with the standard. Consider adding YouTube videos to your slides as well. This blog can teach you how to do that!
Want to show support and thank your guests?
Once local scientists have committed to participating in Science Day, we want to be sure they feel appreciated! There are a few ways that I have done that.
- When community members sign up to participate, I tell them I will include their names in our class or school newsletter. Why does this matter? It’s free advertising for them! What better way to give back than to give them business.
- As people were presenting, I liked to have snacks and water available for them. If our Science Day spanned across lunchtime, I would also purchase pizzas for them to eat for lunch. While my students were outside having their picnic lunch, presenters were able to socialize with one another and enjoy a pizza lunch in our classroom.
- After Science Day, I loved having my students write thank you notes to all of the presenters. You could give these to participants at the end of Science Day or mail them in the days after. This is a great way to say thank you and hopefully get them to come back!
Here’s why I love Science Day
Science Day was hands down one of the most memorable days for students. We had the opportunity to meet many local scientists in our community and to learn more about their expertise. Some of our favorite presenters included a reptile rescue, a marine scientist who brought in dolphin and whale fossils, my marine husband who taught students all about sound and protecting your ears, a scuba diver who taught about marine life, and a beekeeper who brought in his bees for us to see.
However, we also enjoyed visits from our school nurse, an electrician, and our local museum! The different types of professionals in your community are everywhere! You just have to look for them. Elementary science has so many cool possibilities.
If you’re looking for a fun and meaningful way to review your grade level’s science standards, I encourage you to plan a Science Day. I promise that it will be a new favorite day for you and your students.
Want to plan your own?
Ready to start planning your own fun-filled, education Science Day? My editable Science Day Planning Pack freebie can help you feel confident that you have everything prepared for your very own Science Day. Get this freebie here.
I hope that you will take the plunge and plan your own special day. I promise your students will be talking about it for years to come!