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Teddy Bear Zip Line Tops Science Fun Night

Roosevelt Elementary School 2nd graders, dressed in lab coats and goggles, were full of excitement and wonder as they participated in Science Fun Night with their families, Feb. 1. The event, a school tradition, provides a bonding moment for families as they explore with their children the science and engineering activities that support what’s being taught in the classroom.

“Together, families and their children conduct investigations and go through all the scientific wondering and processes that are taught in their classes,” said Ms. Janna Ostroff, K-12 Supervisor for Science and Technology for Instruction. “It celebrates what they’ve learned at TR with hopes that the excitement they have for this event, and for science, will continue as they advance in school.”

Coordinated by Ms. Regina D’Orio, Roosevelt’s K-2 science and technology teacher, the event features three science activities and two engineering challenges, which align with the District goal of integrating more STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities into the curriculum. After meeting in the cafeteria, where students with their families decorated lab coats, listened to welcoming remarks and viewed short videos about what scientists do and what their mission is for the evening, they dispersed into assigned classrooms and rotated from room to room to complete the activities.

The hit of the evening was a new engineering challenge called “Teddy Bear Zip-Lining,” where students were challenged to design and build a carrier for the zip line that would safely transport two small plastic bears from the top to the bottom. Students worked methodically to design a carrier and cheered with delight when their carrier successfully raced down the zip line. 

Thinking like scientists, students filled out worksheets for each activity that encouraged them to make predictions and draw conclusions. Engaged and focused, they watched test tubes bubble when they mixed oil, water and a colored fizzy tablet. They explored how many drops of water can fit on a penny and examined the differences in fingerprints by stamping their fingerprints and those of a guest on a worksheet and then comparing them. Thinking like engineers, they created Hoop Gliders out of straw and paper and had fun testing how they flew.

According to Ms. D’Orio, students are building their critical thinking and problem-solving skills with greater infusion of STEM, which encourages students to design, test, question, redesign and try again until they get their desired outcome. She said that her students are currently learning how to build and program a robot and how to optimize its function through LEGO engineering lessons.

“The most important thing I want to give my students is the confidence to challenge themselves further as they progress through school,” Ms. D’Orio said.

Assisting with the activities were station chaperones Ms. Hayley Byron, Ms. Georgiana Meyer, Ms. Alison Skoczdopole, Ms. Christine Rooney, and Ms. Alison Lingen. Also on hand to help students were members of Oyster Bay High School’s chapter of National Science Honor Society, advised by Ms. Amy Hallock, many of whom remember participating in Science Fun Night when they were in 2nd grade.

After completing the five experiments, students and their families were invited back into the cafeteria for refreshments provided by the PTA. To view the videos that were shown, visit