• curioussquirrel



    May 19, 2021



    Does your child love to tinker at home? Are they a budding photographer? Perhaps the next great fashion designer? Does your child love to do experiments? Do they love taking things apart to discover how they work? Do they use numbers to solve problems?   Are they curious about the natural world around him?  If so, the Curiosity Showcase is perfect for your child!


    The Curiosity Showcase for Upper Laurel Students is a brand-new event where kids can create and showcase their own projects! Students can work on their own or in a group of up to three kids. They will be paired up with a mentor who will meet with them weekly to guide them on their projects. And then on May 19th, kids will have the opportunity to display and describe their projects through a virtual presentation. 


    We know that Laurel kids are curious, and we want to give them an opportunity to dive into those curiosities. All they need is their imagination and we will help them go from Curiosity to discovery!


    And parents – we need volunteers to mentor students and also serve as panelists on the day of the event. This is sure to be a wonderful event, but it can’t happen without our parent volunteers! Learn more below.


    Check out this link to learn more and also the FAQ below!





    As it is virtual, grandparents, teachers, mentors and all are invited to watch your child to present his or her project.  



    Mentor Training Date:  Monday, April 12th at 7pm

    Mentoring Date starts:   Week of April 26th

    Mentors will meet with their group of 5-10 children at least once a week virtually.  See the FAQ for more information.

    Click here for more infomation


    Panelist Training Date: TBD



    Sign up to participate in the Curiosity Showcase here.

    Sign up to learn more about being a Mentor here.


    If interested...

    Students!  Look below for more information

    Mentors! Look below for more information

    Panelists! Look below for more information


    If you have any questions please email curiosityshowcase@laurelpto.org







    Which grade do I have to be in?

    For the first year, participation is limited to 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at Laurel.


    Can Virtual Academy Students Participate?

    Absolutely! We are excited for all 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders to participate!


    When and how will the mentoring sessions happen?

    Mentoring sessions will happen online. Your mentor will send out times that are convenient for the whole group! They will happen once per week starting the week of April 26th for three weeks. This will give you time to get guidance on your project before the Showcase on May 19th.


    Can I do a project with my friends?

    You can do a project either on your own or with one or two other students that are also eligible.


    How do I decide what to do for my project?


    How will I present my project?

    Your mentor will go over different presentation options with you depending on what will fit your project best. Some options include displaying your project on a posterboard (also called a tri-fold), recording a small video, showing photographs, or simply just describing your project. We don’t want you to feel limited by presentation style so talk to your mentor about some other ideas that you might have. 


    Is there a cost to enter?

    The Showcase is open to all Upper Laurel students at no cost! We will provide a poster board (tri-folds) for students that need them for their presentations. And if you are doing a project that needs supplies, you can apply for a small grant (here) from the Laurel PTO!


    Will the project be judged?

    No, the Curiosity Showcase is to share your curiosity and your journey of discovery for your project.  On the Showcase day, our panelists will enjoy your presentation, ask questions, and provide feedback on your projects. 







    When is the Curiosity Showcase? When do I need to be available?

    The Curiosity Showcase will be held the evening of May 19th – exact times will be determined soon. We ask that all mentors are able to commit to mentoring their small group once per week for one hour each session for the three weeks prior to the Showcase. You will have flexibility in choosing your time, but we ask that you keep this time consistent and available each week to make scheduling easier for your mentees. 


    How many kids will I mentor at once?

    We hope to have mentors working with a group of 5-10 kids or groups. We will distribute students based on project category and grade so that the mentoring sessions can be focused. 


    Do I need to have specific expertise in any area to mentor?

    We are so blessed to be a part of a community where so many parents and other adults are multi-talented and experts in so many areas including the Arts, Math, Science, and Technology. That being said, we want you to mentor in a category that is comfortable for you. Perhaps you are an engineer by day and an artist by night and would love to share this love and knowledge with a group of young students. Or you are a photographer by trade but have a graduate degree in math. We know that your talents and interests extend beyond your professional lives, which is something we want to exemplify to the students. So, feel free to sign up for the category you feel most comfortable and excited about mentoring. Remember, these kids are between the ages of 8 and 11 and just excited about creating something on their own more than anything.


    How will I meet with students that I am mentoring?

    You will meet with students through Zoom. You can use a personal zoom account or we can help set one up for you if you need. 


    How much time am I committing?

    In total, you will be committing about 6 hours of your time. This includes the one-hour training, during which we will answer ALL your questions. Three hours of mentoring and two hours dedicated to the actual Curiosity Showcase in May. 

    What are the different categories?

    Arts - Using visual arts, time-based media, music or written materials to express one’s idea and point of view. A great way to demonstrate creativity and imagination.

    Math - Using math to explain or solve a problem or phenomena in the world.

    Science - Using the scientific method to solve a problem or answer a question.

    Technology and Engineering - Using the engineering method to design and / or build to solve a problem or improve on something.


    When is the Curiosity Showcase? When do I need to be available?

    The Curiosity Showcase will be held the evening of May 19th – exact times will be determined soon. We ask that all panelists be available for a training and information session to be held in early May and for the entirety of the Showcase on May 19th.


    How much time am I committing?

    You will be committing about three hours total.


    What will I do at the Showcase?

    On the day of the event, Panelists will be the presenters for the night and will ask students to present, ask them questions to really allow them to showcase their projects, as well as present each student with a small award.


    Do I need to have expertise in a specific area?

    Definitely not! Panelists are there to really encourage the students and to ask the right questions to highlight students’ abilities. You simply need to be enthusiastic and engaged during your time! If you happen to be an expert in a specific field, that is just icing on the cake.