Snow did not stop these kids from bringing their best to the 2nd Annual Middle School Science Fair! Sixth and seventh grade students from the entire county presented over 140 science and engineering projects in competition for the Grand Prize; a mini 3D printer! The top three students in each grade were awarded gift certificates to Acorn Naturalists and a student from each school has a plaque engraved with their name representing the Best in School.
Science Fair Projects are an opportunity for students to learn more about the world around them through rigorous experimentation and documentation. All projects had to answer a question through the scientific method or focus on innovative solutions through engineering. The participants learn to seek answers to the conditions and challenges that face us all! With help from peers, teachers, parents and mentors, the students set out to solve the hardest of questions.
They began thinking about and preparing these projects in September. It is a lengthy process that involves questioning, research, experimentation, data collection, analyzing and communicating results. It enhances critical thinking skills and an understanding of the scientific and engineering methods. They are also encouraged to compete at the regional level at Radford University in March. This process allows students with intense interest in the sciences to be paired with mentors from colleges and universities and gain access to instruction and equipment the local schools may not be able to provide.
All participating students were winners this day. They took on a great challenge and were successful in completing that challenge. With great pleasure, we awarded the following students: Zeke Phipps, Grand Prize and Best in School at Independence Middle for Luminol: Is it Bright Glow or Slow Glow; Hiley Boyer, 1st Place 6th grade and Best in School at Grayson Highlands for What keeps and Apple from Browning; Callie Anderson, 2nd Place 6th grade for Fun with Magnets; Kaydence Boykin, 3rd Place 6th grade for Which Sponge Holds the Most Water; Matthew Rector, 1st Place 7th grade and Best in School at Fries School for Hydraulic Crane; Steven Barnette, 2nd Place 7th grade for Males vs. Females on time perception; and Harley Alderman, 3rd Place 7th grade for Do All Liquids Evaporate at the Same Rate.
A special thank you is needed for all the individuals that helped make this event a success. The 6th and 7th grade teachers and principals: Jamie Hale, Bobby Cheeks, John Alexander, Cindy Cox, Mary Tignor, Sherry Perry, and Elizabeth Blankenship; our volunteer judges: Devin Floyd, Keith and Pat Andrews, Austin Phipps, and Brenda Bonk; and the community that supported us financially with donations to pay for the awards: Grayson Express, Main Street Tire, Buck Mountain Bed and Breakfast, Anderson Insurance, Kendall Clay, and Mid Atlantic Health Specialists.