Wolcott School Showcases Scientists at Work

Grade 5 students Chase Bonilla and Ella Minto were ready to share their findings about how trash affects climate change. Courtesy photo

West Hartford’s Wolcott Elementary School celebrating the work of its student scientists, who had the opportunity to showcase a wide range of projects.


The environment on a recent Friday night at Wolcott Elementary School was buzzing with excitement and energy as the school hosted their science fair.

Organizers Sandy Grabicki and Mary Lestini, parents of current Wolcott students, were the driving force behind this popular and long-anticipated experience. Both were interested in tapping into students’ excitement about science, related inquiry, and engagement in an experiment.

To ensure a successful experience for all participants, Grabicki and Lestini provided a timeline for the event, which included multiple “check in” meetings for all scientists during the school day. A project packet distributed to each student included a project planner and guidance relative to topics, research, hypothesis, experiment, results, and conclusions. Students were poised for success due to the organization and support provided.

Wolcott scientists were excited to experience the fair, noting the many components necessary to conduct a successful experience.

Fourth grade students Miles Abrom and Grace Dufour-Guarino collaborated on an experiment to determine if the “Five Second Rule” was real or not, learning the rate of bacterial growth in the process. “I’m excited to present at the Science Fair about what we learned!” commented Grace. And Miles added, “I want to see what everyone else did with their projects!”

Grade 4 student Isabella Drunnamanio showcases her project on the creation of lava lamps. Courtesy photo

Fifth grade students Chase Bonilla and Ella Minto conducted an experiment on how landfills lead to climate change. Both were excited to teach others about the role and value of composting. These were just two among many projects showcased at the science fair.

“We envision this science fair as an opportunity for our young students to explore their curiosity for the natural world beyond their science classrooms,” said Lestini. “Participating students were buzzing with excitement about how to organize, document, and share their scientific findings about an intriguing topic of their choice with our school community.”

Grabicki added, “Creating this science fair was intended to spark the minds of young scientists. Our hope is that through this fair, inquisitiveness is fostered, risk taking is encouraged, and the joy and eagerness to explore science is awakened.”

The community of Wolcott School, especially the student scientists, looks forward to this event next year and beyond.

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