Northwood Academy Charter School held it’s annual science fair this past Thursday at it’s annex in the former Saint Joachim’s school at Penn and Church. My father, wife and I stopped by to check out how the budding scientists were faring. I met with Meagan Hopkins-Doerr, former Northwood Charter teacher and current iPraxis program director, who guided me through the process that the students would follow. All students in 7th and 8th grade are prepped for science projects. Those that were able to attain a certain level of preparation were moved ahead to the school’s science fair.
Judging for the school’s science fair was coordinated with iPraxis, a non profit organization who’s focus is to improve science opportunities for underserverd students. According to iPraxis’ website, “science comes to life for kids when they get to learn by seeing, hearing, feeling, and experiencing science inside and outside of their classrooms.”
iPraxis coordinated with the school to link up Ph.D. candidate scientists to judge the competition and then mentor the winning students in each category weekly until the region wide George Washington Carver Science Fair hosted at Temple in early March.
I spoke with Cordell, an 8th grader at Northwood Academy, who’s science fair project this year centered around what can make an electromagnet stronger. He was excited by the opportunity to showcase what he learned and looked forward to the opportunity to compete.
It was great to the asset to the community that Northwood Academy has become and it was the first time in a couple decades that I was back in Saint Joachim’s auditorium since I graduated 8th grade. It seemed a lot smaller than I remembered.