The Student News Site of Flora High School

Flora High School Howler

The Student News Site of Flora High School

Flora High School Howler

The Student News Site of Flora High School

Flora High School Howler

Students prepare for annual Science Fair

By Becca Persinger

Curiosity is running wild in the minds of Flora High School students, and their creativity is going to be put to the test during the annual Science Fair that will be held on Tuesday, March 4. Students will stay after school to set up their presentations, and they can earn a few extra credit points in their science class if they stay until the event officially ends at 5:30 p.m.

Each year, parents of the students are invited to drive out to the high school, and see what their child has constructed. The fair is open to the public from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Projects vary from year to year, but the most common experiment is the Mentos and Diet Coke demonstration. During this wildly popular project, the aspiring young scientists drop Mentos mints into 2 liter bottles of Diet Coke soda. The reaction is explosive, the geyser reaching heights of up to five feet.

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“I try to challenge my kids to brainstorm with their partners and come up with a cool idea that is new to Science Fair and that would really impress the judges and parents,” said Science Fair sponsor Kelli Massie.

Massie is just one of the four science teachers who oversee Science Fair. She is working alongside Doug Slagley, Addie Dehart, and new FHS science teacher David Drake. Massie has been involved in Science Fair ever since she began teaching eleven years ago.

“I have been working at FHS for nine years now, and I have been a Science Fair coordinator from the very beginning,” said Dehart, “My students have been working extremely hard, and I can’t wait to see how their projects turn out.”

The sponsor with the most experience is Slagley. For over twenty years, he has watched as kids discovered the answers to questions they have been pondering ever since they were little through Science Fair.

“This is my first year being involved in Science Fair, and I am thoroughly excited to see what kind of ideas my students are going to come up with,” said Drake.

Due to the number of snow days that the school has had recently, new problems arose for Science Fair sponsors. Fears of kids not being able to complete their projects forced them to reduce the number of pages that are required for the review of literature and the number of sources that students must have.

The snow has also affected a lot of the student’s experiments. A very popular project is to see how effective different brands of camouflage is when a person is trying to hunt. Being surrounded by mounds of bright, white snow makes this experiment impossible to perform.

“Overcoming procrastination when working on a Science Fair project is always an issue for kids,” said Massie, “But that is one of the big lessons that a student learns when they participate in Science Fair, along with building valuable interview skills, and learning how to work with others.”

Some other lessons that can be learned from actively participating in Science Fair are basic computer skills such as formatting and learning to type at a faster pace, how to properly source papers, and how to defend your project when speaking with one of the judges.

During Science Fair, a total of 35 judges spend their time viewing each and every experiment, and giving FHS students feedback to help them better themselves in next year’s Science Fair. Only two of the judges are assigned to a project, but if there is a 15% difference in the evaluation between the two judges, a third judge will be called upon to balance out the score.

Judges are selected from the community, and depending on the person’s area of expertise, they will evaluate a certain group of projects that share similarities. For example, a common experiment is to test how a person’s blood pressure reacts when they are scared, and a nurse or someone who is heavily involved in the medical field would act as a judge for that project.

“No project is the same, and the ideas that some of the students come up with are really creative,” said Massie, “We always have an excellent response from the community and from parents, and we look forward to seeing how they react to this year’s batch of projects.”


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