— In the News: Making science fun

Today the Half Moon Bay Review reported on the fantastic Science Festival celebrated last week at Sea Crest:

By Sarah Griego Guz

Annual science event a hit at Sea Crest –

The sounds of science rang out across the Kohrs Family Center at Sea Crest School on Thursday evening.

Science FestivalOn one side of the gym, seventh-grade students stood nervously beside their science projects awaiting a visit from multiple judges. Their topics ranged from “How Animals Impact Blood Pressure” to “Why Onions Make You Cry” to “The Effects of Liquid Consumption on the pH of Human Urine.”

Yes, one brave young scientist actually tested the urine of multiple subjects.

Squeals of excitement exploded from the other side, as children of all ages launched fizzy rockets, extracted DNA from a strawberry or simply built a bridge.

“I love it because everybody comes out for all grades,” said Heather DeWeerd, fifth-grade humanities teacher at Sea Crest School. “You have the seventh-grade science fair.

2017-01-19-Science-Festival-43“The exhibits are always different. They’re hands-on and the kids get to leave with science experiments they make.”

Second-grade Sea Crest student Wyatt Dunning waited expectantly at a construction paper launch pad. His experiment, a film canister rocket powered by Alka-Seltzer and water, was about to blast off.

There was a small pop as the rocket went off. Dunning seemed to be delighted by the result.

“I put this rocket power in,” said Dunning, referring to the effervescent tablet. “And then I put water in and it made this chemical reaction. And it made a big boom and it blasted off the cap.

“Boom!” he continued, gesturing with open arms while peering at the rocket through his safety glasses.

“This is my favorite experiment because it has something to do with chemical reactions. I love chemical reactions,” he said. “It’s like two different chemicals bounce together and make a chemical reaction. It’s like two chemicals reacting.”

While Dunning was watching his rocket take off, Sophia Nielsen was belting out a tune on a banana keyboard.

“They are bananas that, if you press them, they make different sounds,” said Sophia Nielsen. “I think they are pretty cool.”

The banana piano consisted of alligator clips, wires and proprietary technology from MIT Media Lab called “Makey Makey,” an electrical circuit that seemed to magically make a musical instrument out of fruit.


“Because they are connected to this, that connected to that, that’s connected to this other thing, and that’s why they make music,” said Nielsen, offering up her explanation behind the musical fruit.

According to the Makey Makey website, the technology behind the banana piano is the brainchild of Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum, two Ph.D. students who worked at the MIT lab.

Bananas aside, the kit can also be used to turn pencil drawings into a joystick or Play-Doh into a controller for a favorite video game. Pac-Man anyone?

The science experiment portion of the evening was a result of a dynamic collaboration between a parent and a member of the Sea Crest faculty.

Together with Michelle Giacotto, director of Lower School, parent volunteer Gizette Sperinde worked tirelessly to bring another successful science night across the proverbial finish line.

“The strawberry DNA station is probably my favorite and the one station that requires the most amount of preparation,” said Sperinde in a message to the Half Moon Bay Review. “I hope that it triggers a discussion and understanding of DNA, its importance, and how it provides building blocks for all life forms.

“When I do this activity in the classroom, the discussion inevitably switches to race,” she continued. “I always love telling kids that race is a human construct having nothing to do with their DNA.”

For more information visit seacrestschool.org, email admission@seacrestschool.org or call 712-9892 x239 to learn more.



Coastweek at Sea Crest

Thanks to all our teachers and students for making our first-ever Coastweek so special. In particular, we would like to recognize our wonderful teachers Stephanie Hanepen (First Grade) and Anastasia Pickens (Fifth Grade Math & Science) who spearheaded this amazing ocean appreciation project at our school. We came together as a community to celebrate the ocean and our beautiful coastal environment!


Kindergarten Half Moon Bay

Kindergarten studied the Ocean Community, learned about all the different animals that live in the ocean and created a beautiful art piece that represents the ocean community.

First Grade Elementary School Coast

First Grade learned all the ways to have Fun at the Beach by listening to stories, exploring sand through art and making surfboards in the Innovation Lab.

Second Grade Elementary School Half Moon Bay

Second Grade gathered all kinds of objects that can be found on the beach and became experts on Trash or Treasures, what is trash and what is a precious gift from the ocean.

Third Grade Sea Crest School HMB

Third Grade studied Ocean Natural Resources: what a natural resource is, how they are used and which particular ones come from the ocean; and created detailed mobiles to explain their discoveries.

Fourth Grade Coastweek

Fourth Grade learned all about Sharks, did research and presented their findings to other classrooms, built a model of a great white shark and made shark necklaces.

Fifth Grade Kelp Forest Half Moon Bay

Fifth Grade studied Kelp Forests, underwater ecosystems formed in shallow water, and turned their classroom into a big one. They enjoyed sharing what they created and learned with the rest of the school.


Thank you very much!


Poplar Beach Cleanup


Following the example of our 5th graders who steward Poplar Beach, our faculty and staff spent the first afternoon of pre-service cleaning up our beautiful coast-side community.

Sea Crest School Poplar Beach Half Moon Bay

Sea Crest School Poplar Beach Half Moon Bay

With such beautiful surroundings, we feel it is our responsibility, and our pleasure, to care for our cherished neighborhood and beaches.

Half Moon Bay Beach Staff Faculty Sea Crest School

Half Moon Bay Beach Cleanup

We are so proud to belong to the wonderful community of Half Moon Bay!


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