Tomorrow marks the last Science and Engineering Expo that Barb Kreider will oversee before her retirement at the end of this year.
Now in its eighteenth year, SEE has changed quite a bit since its inauguration early in her tenure as Science Department Chair.
“The first one was awful,” Kreider recalled with a laugh. “There was no candy (now a SEE staple), and the entire school was together in the same three gyms for the entire day.”
From there, she changed the format quite a few times until today’s current version. A full day expo, SEE Assemblies, and a half-day format all ran their course before the current quarter-day schedule was reached.
“Science isn’t science until someone repeats it,” said Kreider, explaining the most important aspect of SEE. The entire community is now invited to the expo, showcasing more than 200 pieces of work all produced by Middle and Upper School students. She also stressed that the use of visuals such as graphs and interactive projects is important when showcasing science work. “Developing communications skills should not rely exclusively on English.”
The current model of SEE is primarily focused to show the Lower School what the Middle and Upper School do in science. Freshman students are utilized as SEEscorts, taking Lower School students to designated balloon stops where they receive a sticker for their passport in a scavenger hunt styled game that encourages exploration. “Nobody cries, and all the kids are pretty happy, so that’s great,” commented Kreider.
Kreider reminisced about all the great projects throughout her years at MFS. “My all-time favorites … there was an amazing 8th grade ear [model] that I kept for several years, the 7th grade alternative energy projects are absolutely terrific, and the third was a physics project that was a hoverboard made out of a vacuum cleaner.”
Kreider said she hopes SEE will remain a continued tradition for years to come, since “[MFS students] are creating projects that are meaningful to adult scientists and engineers.”