Notes from the Spiral Staircases #2: Junior School Science Fair and Science Fiction
The Junior School science fair is not only a major event in the winter, it is also a whole season at the King’s-Edgehill School library. In mid-October, Junior School students visit the library to gather books and follow the first threads of their investigations. There have been so many interesting starting points so far: Vinnie Armstrong ‘25 is looking into soil erosion on coastlines, and Will Larder ‘26 is considering fresh and saltwater fish with his mind on the Avon River. Gabby Shaw ’25 is exploring the science of dreaming, and Lola Wamback ‘25 is researching the mechanics of a horse’s joints. And there are so many more varied and fascinating scientific concepts that students are engaging with. I can’t wait to see where these initial thoughts lead!
Our library’s science and technology collections are vast in scope, providing resources on broad topics in biology, physics, chemistry, medicine, and technology, as well as specific topics like the ones Vinnie, Will, Gabby, and Lola are considering. There are also several print resources geared toward simply getting started on a science fair topic in the first place.
Reading is such an important part of the research process. In her latest book, Maryanne Wolf explains that reading offers “luminous glimpses of what lies outside the boundaries of all we thought before.” In other words, reading allows us to think new thoughts!
It occurs to me that science fiction takes this idea of “luminous glimpses” to a whole new level, creating imaginative worlds for readers to inhabit for a short while. The Junior School has many science fiction fans including teachers Eric Kershaw and Pat LePoidevin. And it’s wonderful to see teacher Jonathan Cheverie reading Star Wars novels during his class reading periods in the library.
Here’s to reading science fiction and books on science in order to branch out our thinking and understanding of the world around us. Onward and upward!
KES inspires academic, athletic and artistic excellence with a commitment to the traditional community ideals of gentleness and learning, dignity and respect, so that students may discover and cultivate their unique potential, prepare for post-secondary education and develop a life-long enthusiasm for the spiritual and intellectual growth necessary to flourish in the contemporary world.