Which is smartest: a hamster or a mouse? What invention has meant the most to mankind? What is—or are—“aquaponics”?
If you attended Life Christian Academy’s 2012 middle or high school science fair, you know some of these answers—and a whole lot more. Science fairs have a way of making you smarter. And according to at least one observer, LCA kids are getting smarter about science than ever.
“The sophistication of this year’s science fair increased significantly over last year,” says LCA teacher Gary Bertelsen. “The experiments and inventions were more diverse and complex—which I think reflects the expansion and collaboration that’s been happening through the Math & Science Institute.”
Here’s a bit about the year’s most unique projects from both middle and high school fairs:
- Seventh grader Parker Griffith received the “most original” middle school fair award for his entry on aquaponics, a first-of-its-kind at an LCA science fair. Parker donated his project to LCA so science classes [and curious visitors] can use the school’s new Vernier sensors to monitor aquaculture and hydroponic components.
- Winner of the middle school “best example of a controlled experiment” award, eighth grader Amelia Villegas illustrated the polar nature of a water molecule and the ability to generate sparks from water drops.
- Seventh grader Camden Roberts’ self-designed and -built hovercraft successfully lifted him into the air and moved smoothly around the gym.
- Freshman Lauren Wolf landed the high school “most original” title for her interactive comparison of left-handed and right-handed individuals’ abilities to do “mirror writing.”
A valuable addition to the fairs was the Hope Heart Institute table, which offered students hands-on experiences with sheep hearts and simulated hardened arteries compared to normal arteries.
For the full experience of cool/creative ideas demonstrated in creative/cool ways, come to next year’s science fairs. Good news: you won’t have to wait as long for the chance.
“LCA plans to schedule future science fairs earlier in the school year,” reports science teacher and department chair Mr. Seely, “so the best projects will be able to compete at the regional level and beyond.” He also says we can look forward to seeing exhibits or demonstrations by Hope Heart Institute, Slater Museum of Natural History at University of Puget Sound, and Stream Team at LCA’s 2013 fairs.
Rainmakers to Watch
Selected via anonymous evaluation forms by students and staff, this year’s award winners are:
|Best example of a controlled experiment||Minh Bui||Organic vs. Inorganic Fertilizer|
|Most interesting board and display||Aaron Koh||Comparing Hamster and Mouse Intelligence|
|Most original||Lauren Wolf||Mirror Writing|
|Honorable mention||Brandon Endres
|Best example of a controlled experiment||Amelia Villegas||Kelvin Water Dropper|
|Most interesting board and display||Luke Lovelady
|Nothing but Net|
|Most original||Parker Griffith||Aquaponics|
|Invention that has meant the most to mankind||Brittney Schuler||The Cell Phone|