Students in fourth grade at Locust Valley Intermediate School and Bayville Intermediate School put their thinking caps on to produce creative science related hats.

“Hats Off to Science” is a project that requires students to create a hat depicting a scientific term. Fourth grade teachers, along with the school librarians and art teachers created the project as a way to keep learning as creative as possible while preparing students for state tests. Students were each assigned a scientific term and given a plain paper hat. Each hat was decorated to depict the particular term, and helped to reinforce scientific concepts included on the State science exam. 

From volcano and groundwater, to growth and gravity, the hats contained colorful, three-dimensional and sometimes moving parts. In order to depict their terms properly, students had to perform extensive research to understand the terms. “The project, while creative and fun, really reinforced research skills while teaching the terms,” said Bayville Intermediate School Librarian Paige Coppola. She explained that since each student had a different word and they presented their projects to each other, the entire grade learned more about science than they would from reading a definition in a book.

Students at Bayville Intermediate School presented their hats to third graders and answered their questions regarding the project.  Fourth graders at Locust Valley Intermediate School marched in a parade through the school, wearing their hats while third and fourth graders looked on.

Students at LVI shared their work with classmates and enjoyed some games. They crafted Haiku and concrete poetry with a science focus and participated in a game of Jeopardy, which kept the young scientists on their toes.

“Mastering complicated science vocabulary can be overwhelming for many students,” said LVI Science Lab Instructor Caroline McBride. “Creating a three-dimensional representation of their science definition is a tactile and creative way to learn. It also fosters a greater understanding of and confidence in themselves as students.”