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Science Fair judge

GAYS MILLS - It was my privilege to be one of several judges for the North Crawford Middle School Science Fair this past week. The fair was produced under the careful and expert guidance of science teachers Linda Dworschack and Erika Wilson. Kudos to the teachers, and especially to the student scientists, on a very impressive and successful event.

In the small gym, students in grades 6, 7 and 8 displayed the individual projects they have been working on for several weeks. Each student had their work displayed on large poster-board, table-top exhibits and stood by ready to explain their work and answer questions.

Each student was visited by two or more judges. The judges used a guideline made up of 10 categories to evaluate the exhibits. Students were scored on each of the items on scorecards that included such things as Problem and Hypothesis, Background Research, Analysis and Results, and Interview/Oral Presentation. 

It was very interesting meeting the fledgling scientists and seeing what they had chosen to study and present at the fair. The exhibits ranged from testing various skin moisturizers to seeing how various paper airplanes performed. 

There was a project comparing a potato to a AAA battery, as a power source to run a small light bulb. (The battery won that test.)  

A water clock, something that dates back to early Egyptian times, was created, studied, and demonstrated.  Another exhibit involved soaking raw eggs in vinegar. The vinegar dissolves the eggshells. The resulting solidified eggs were tested to see how high they bounced.

It was encouraging to see the proud and excited students and their exhibits. The evening of the fair featured a dinner for the students and their parents and an award presentation. All of the students deserved to be recognized and honored for their work in selecting a topic, researching a problem and demonstrating their results.  

This was a hands-on and brain-engaged exercise and called for creativity and skill. The displays and oral presentations helped the students in their personal development and as budding young scientists.

There were many delays in the school schedule as the students prepared for the fair. As you know, the winter of 2019 has stubbornly refused to yield to spring. There have been 12 missed school days due to snow (and flood) so far.  That must be a record, and who’s to say that it’s over? The delays provided a real world variable and an extra challenge to the students.

Hats off to all the young North Crawford scientists.

Another home remedy has been provided.  In response to my recent column on home remedies, alert reader Gail informs me that soy sauce works well on minor kitchen burns.   Thanks, Gail.