Students compete in St. Mary’s Science Fair

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Long, rectangular tables were covered in an array of science experiments from St. Mary’s Catholic School annual Science Fair last month.

Out of 55 contestants, nine students won first- through third-place ribbons from sixth through eighth grades, and one student received a Best of Show medal.

Abigail R. Ortiz-News-Bulletin photo: Judges Melissa Sais, Ann Marie Koester and Kathy Sanchez evaluate a student’s science experiment a the St. Mary’s Catholic School’s annual Science Fair. The Best of Show winner was seventh-grader Caitlin Baca’s ‘Can bacteria be helpful in plant growth?’ experiment.

Experiments ranged from observing the effects of meat soaked in six carbonated drinks to the effects of classical and rock music on plant growth.

Poster boards lined each of the tables with descriptions about each student’s experiment and results, along with a scientific report and props from the experiments.

One experiment, aiming to find out which type of cheese molds the fastest at room temperature, included rotten cheese blocks in Zip Lock bags.

Another experiment, which was trying to find a “better and faster” way to grow plants by feeding them energy drinks, showcased empty bottles of Rockstar, AMP, Full Throttle and water next to the plants they were used on.

The students were evaluated by nine judges to receive up to 75 total points, said Kathy Hill, science fair organizer.

Science experiments aid students in thinking more critically about “the world we live in,” and illustrates that nothing happens spontaneously, said the science teacher.

“I like to make my kids think outside the box,” Hill said. “That’s my goal.”

Eight class projects from third through fifth grade were also showcased in the science fair as a way to help students prepare for the middle school fair, Hill said.

Students worked solely on their projects from start to finish over three months with minimal help from parents and teachers, Hill said.

To complete the science project, Hill gave students an informational sheet that listed a series of tasks from choosing a topic to creating a final research paper with information about the topic and using that information to create a science project, which students were expected to execute and interpret data for their final results.

Winners from the fair include sixth graders Jasmine Baca, first place; Thomas Wisneski, second place; and Lyndsay Orris, third place; seventh graders Rose Baca, first place; Michael Brown, second place; and Elisa Ashford, third place; and eighth graders Shylyn Baca, first place; Marielena Flores, second place; and Hannah Baca, third place.

The Best of Show winner was seventh-grader Caitlin Baca with her “Can bacteria be helpful in plant growth?” experiment.


-- Email the author at aortiz@news-bulletin.com.