Record numbers of students participated in Young Scientist Week at Bennett Elementary this year.

The week was a time for students to get hands on learning and explore different STEM topics by completing experiments, participating in an engineering design challenge, and learning about various topic areas.

“My favorite part was seeing all of the science experiments in the hall,” said Bennett fourth grader Anton Schoenbacher.

Students in fourth and fifth grade, as well as any other students who want to participate, complete science experiments at home and make a display board that is on display during Young Scientist Week. This year 260 students completed science projects, a new record for Bennett.

First grader Angel Singh, fourth grader Finn De Graaf, and Schoenbacher were among those who completed science projects this year.

For his experiment, Schoenbacker showed how adding different substances to water affected the time it took for the water to freeze, De Graaf created a magnetic compass, and Singh built a spinning motor.

Also this year, a record 225 students participated in the egg drop engineering design challenge. Students used all kinds of materials, their knowledge of science, and their creativity to build ‘egg landers.’

Students got to explore how best to protect their egg, and a variety of methods and materials were used including building egg landers out of cardboard, paper mâché, and foam, and some students used parachutes to slow their egg’s fall. Students also employed a myriad of strategies to cushion the eggs, including bubble wrap, rubber bands, cotton, and water. The eggs were dropped from 50 feet up and this year 68 percent of the eggs survived unscathed.

Egg Drop at Bennett

Family Science Night was a highlight of the week, an evening of science activities that students and their families were able to explore. Students learned about the salmon life cycle, parrots, liquid nitrogen, 3D printers, electricity, and robotics, to name a few topics. Additionally the Bellevue Fire Department had a safety exhibit, and students got to test out a hover craft and had the opportunity to get up close to a racecar built by University of Washington mechanical engineering students.

“There was a 3D printer,” De Graaf said. “And they taught us about electricity.”

One of the highlights for Singh was learning about motion and animation.

“My favorite part was seeing how a cartoon works,” Singh said.

Bennett’s PTSA and parents have put on the annual event for over 20 years with the support of the school and community. Some 120 volunteers helped with the various activities this year.

Inspired by Young Scientist Week and all of the experiments, Singh, De Graaf and Schoenbacher are already brainstorming what they want to do for their science projects next year.

“I think it’s pretty cool and you learn new stuff,” De Graaf said.