The children designed their own questionnaire, which they distributed to other children at the fair. Four children from the class spent the day interviewing teachers, children and exhibitors. They were also given disposable cameras to photograph aspects of the exhibition.
On their return, the interviews and photos were used to make a newsletter using Microsoft Publisher. The results of the questionnaires were entered into the computer by the children and analysed, and then graphs were made.
The pupils were able to conclude that most of the children who attended expected to enjoy science more now they had been to the fair. Among the graphs they drew was one showing the most popular activities. They also assessed which were the hardest activities.
Two weeks later the pupils gave a Powerpoint presentation on their findings and conclusions to parents, governors and representatives from the Suffolk Education Business Partnership, which organised the fair. It was a useful way of incorporating real-life data collection and analysis into the curriculum and the children also learned how to design a questionnaire and work to deadlines, and how to deal with the information they gathered.
Clare Smith, teacher, Ixworth School, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk