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Deerfield school to hold 1st math, science festival

DEERFIELD — For the first time, Deerfield Elementary School will have a Math and Science Festival as a way to teach students the real world applications of what they learn in the classroom.

The festival will take place on Feb. 15.

Each class will rotate through the stations, spending 20 to 30 minutes at a station. The stations so far include a watershed instruction by the Fish and Wildlife Service, a live animal demonstration and an electricity demonstration from the Springfield Science Museum, a solar exhibit by Soltas Engineering and a safety exhibit from National Grid.

During the first half of the day, a parent will come to each classroom and do a presentation with a hands-on component. They will talk about using math and science in the real world. Some examples of presenters include a naval architect, neuroscientist, baker, electrical engineer, math teacher, plastics maker, safety consultant and skydiver.

In turn, the students will then present to that visiting parent what they have been doing in math and science recently.

To get students excited about the week, students have voluntarily been working on a daily math riddle.

Each correct answer receives an entry into a raffle for math/science-related prizes. The drawing will be held during the festival.

The festival has become a community event with donations from local businesses and help from parents. With $1,000 in funding from local businesses, the Deerfield Elementary Parent Teachers Organization began to organize the festival in June. This summer the Deerfield PTO sent out an email asking for help. It wasn’t too long before 20 parents volunteered to speak to the students and businesses donated money.

The Math and Science Festival is just one of the many fairs and events the school holds.

The school has an arts festival showcasing music and dance and a writing fair in which local authors visit the students.

“We were looking for something math and science related,” said President of the Deerfield PTO Julie Chalfant. “We have a lot of the humanities side. This rounds it out by bringing math and science into it.”

Chalfant said the festivals are a way to showcase the work students do and reinforce what happens in the class with the real world.

“We’re trying to get across that real people and real jobs use this stuff every day. It’s not just a puzzle you do in class. It’s something you use in the future,” Chalfant said.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:
kmckiernan@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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