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Prepared for the Science Fair?

Riley S., Staff Writer

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Photo by Riley S.

On November 12, the tri-folds go up. The science fair is an annual event for many schools. For Westminster, it is specifically for eighth graders.

Teachers allow students to partner up or work alone, but every year, a large group of them choose to team up with a partner. Groups can consist of one, two, or three members.

The timeline for the science fair is about three months. Students must complete many parts before the final presentation; a few are writing a hypothesis, writing a three-paragraph background research paper, and conducting experiments.

It’s a long process, but teachers give ample time by cutting back on the load of homework and giving time in class.

Alex I. is an eighth grader in Mrs. Robert’s class and is in the finishing stage of her research and experimenting. She said, “I chose my project idea not to build a prototype but to gain more information about luminol, which is a chemical used in investigating crime scenes.”

While the eighth graders might have different teachers, numbers of group members, or a different focus on their project from each other, they are still working hard throughout all steps of the process.

Reese N. said, “I am beginning my experimenting and testing. My partners and I are interested in finding out if lavender scent helps people get a better night’s sleep. We aren’t building a prototype because it is more like a research project.”

Students have a choice to either do their project based on learning more information about a topic or building a prototype to solve a problem.

One of the first assignments is the background research paper. The engineering research plan differs from the original research plan, although, each option requires students to write three paragraphs.

Caroline H. said, “I have Ms. Sumner for science and have finished my research paper. My partner and I are doing the engineering research plan because we are building a prototype.”

If students succeed in the middle school science fair, they will compete in the county, state or even the national science fair. Once the highest-placing projects go to the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair, they are eligible to compete and win cash prizes.

Students might have an individual approach to the project, but it depends on the issue. While the science fair is required, most students do their best and enjoy every part that goes into it.

Some students are even trying to solve or cure a world-wide problem. Carter F. is building a filter with her partner to eliminate the amount of chemicals in drinking water. She said, “We hope this will help a lot of people, but mostly those suffering in Africa and third world countries.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Prepared for the Science Fair?”

  1. Allie Ross on November 7th, 2018 10:58 am

    This is a very insightful story! I liked how you had people go through the step they were on in the Science fair.

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Prepared for the Science Fair?