The lower campus of Dallas International School recently held a one-of-a-kind bilingual science fair complete with dual language presentations by the students that utilized QR code scanning technology to allow parents to view the presentation in both English and French. We sat down with the head of primary, Jean-François Lopez, to discuss the fair and the academic impact it had on the students.
Tell us more about this fair. What was its purpose?
It was all about science protocol. Students and teachers were working on the scientific method and it was very interesting for the science process. It was done in a bilingual way. It was all about helping students engage in writing and in talking and presenting in both English and French.
How excited were the students to incorporate the QR code technology into their presentations?
Oh, it was great. It was very interesting to get the QR code because students were able to review their speeches in both languages and be able to present that to parents orally. They were working specifically on oral skills in both languages, which is very good.
What types of experiments did the students do?
We actually assigned each grade level one experiment, so each grade level worked on the same thing. We did this to help the students think with a critical mind. You have results, but if you compare them with other students, then you learn much more. It helps them go from belief to reality. But they did some fun experiments. One grade level did an experiment to see which liquid rots a nail the fastest—Coke, water, vinegar or other things. They were all really interesting.
How did the parents react when they came in to see the presentations?
They were very excited. They were so happy to see the QR codes and to see more interaction with technology in the teaching process. It was interesting for them and really nice because everything was done with just one QR code scan. I was glad they were able to understand what our bilingual education means.
What do you hope was the biggest lesson learned by students, teachers and parents through this science fair?
That our bilingual education is special. It’s not two parallel language curriculums, it’s merged as one, with both French and English teachers working on the same skills. Both teachers were working on the same thing and that showed in the fair. They really did an amazing job with the students. It was incredible to see everyone working together.