At the first in-person academic fair for Home Instruction Schools since the onset of the pandemic, students gathered at the Bronx Zoo to present their projects for the STREAM (science, technology, robotics, engineering and math) Fair.
The fair, hosted in-person on May 18 and online May 19, featured a variety of students’ projects that they worked on over the course of approximately two and a half months
Home Instruction Schools provide educational services for students on long-term absence from school. Following Mayor Eric Adams’ decision to send all K-12 schools back to in-person instruction starting Jan. 3, Home Instruction began sending educators back to the homes of individual students.
The STREAM fair was the first time students had the opportunity to gather in groups in-person since early 2020.
Carole Murphy, a teacher with Home Instruction, was one of the educators responsible for organizing the event, which was themed “reimagining the world.” She found that one of the best ways to encourage students was by allowing them to use the prompt to create anything that they were passionate about during the year.
“We really tried to just get students to open up their minds,” said Murphy. “And just make it so broad that they can just pull anything that they thought of.”
By using a STREAM focus (as opposed to STEM), students were able to create projects that displayed their various interests, from a favorite music artist to the impacts of earthquakes on the environment.
For students who were less interested in science and math, this allowed for the opportunity to put on display other areas of interest. Giovanna Jaquez, aided by educator Alycia Siegal, showcased her project titled “My Favorite Things,” where she displayed her love for dancing, spending time Central Park with her brother and mom, and the Fire Island lighthouse.
The fair also gave students a chance to bring awareness to issues that affect their personal lives and that of their loved ones. Nathaniel Santana’s project was titled “How did Hurricane Maria impact Puerto Rico?”
“Hurricane Maria hit close to home for me because I have family living there,” said Santana.
Students were able to bring family members to the fair, and students were excited about the opportunity to discuss their projects with each other as well as spend time exploring the exhibits. The fair took place in the gorilla and ape exhibit in the zoo.
“We were surrounded by massive gorillas, separated by plexiglass of course,” said Murphy. “The kids just really enjoyed seeing all the animals and experiencing the zoo together.”
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