The Valdosta Daily Times
Students at St. John the Evangelist School competed in the school science fair on Thursday morning.
For months, the students at St. John’s have been performing experiments, creating posters and building models in preparation for the science fair.
The entire school — 205 kindergarten through eighth-grade students — participated in the fair. Students from fifth through eighth grade prepared projects to be judged while the younger students worked together to prepare projects for presentation.
Some of the younger students created projects about animals, such as sharks, lions, koalas, polar bears and monkeys. Other students from kindergarten through fifth grade created projects about volcanoes, complete with model volcanoes, studied gems and crystals and even researched natural disasters such as tsunamis.
Older students studied complex scientific processes such as sublimation or buoyancy.
Some students studied events that have affected their lives, such as the effects of oil spills on the ocean or which brand of popcorn leaves the fewest unpopped kernels.
Jacob Puckett, a sixth-grade student, created an experiment that determined whether scratched or unscratched golf ball traveled further. To complete his experiment, Puckett even built a machine that would shoot the golf balls.
“I like doing the science fair because you can study what you like in science. You can find out some really cool or weird stuff,” said Puckett.
Emiliana Rodriguez, also a sixth-grader, created a science project to determine if vinegar and baking soda could blow up a balloon.
“I remember seeing vinegar and baking soda put together and seeing that it would kind of fizz up. I never thought that they could have the reaction I saw though. I chose this project because I really like chemistry and I loved doing the experiment,” said Rodriguez.
Students began working on their projects in December.
There was no set experiment or theme they had to focus on. Students were able to pick topics and experiments that interested them.
Some students decided to build models while others chose to do posters.
Students in fifth through eighth grade were brought in three by three Thursday morning to meet with a group of judges to explain their projects. Students were judged based on their background research, their project’s appearance and their knowledge of the project. They were also asked about their reason for picking their project and how much they learned from it.
Arlene Manning, a science teacher with St. John’s, is the teacher for all of the older students and feels very strongly about the importance of science fairs.
Manning explained, “The students get to learn problem solving procedures. These students are coming across the problems and then having to answer them. These are skills they will use all throughout their life.”
Winners for the 8th grade:
1st — Abbie Murphy
2nd — Dustin Doscher
3rd— Jasmin Garay
Winners for the 7th grade:
1st — Jacob Zipperer
2nd— Anthony Petty, Victoria Goss, and Addison Egresits
3rd — Hayes Egresits and Catherine Gerber
Winners for the 6th grade:
1st- Jacob Puckett
2nd- Albert Kang
3rd- Nicole Sinnott
Winners for the 5th grade:
1st- Sean Manning
2nd- Elijah Ochoa
3rd- Rachael Goss