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  • Caylie Gnyra

Celebrating 25 Years Of Science Fairs At VES

Karsen, Riddick, and Aaron applied their findings on ball speed and accuracy to their new mini stick league. Photos Caylie Gnyra

The atmosphere in the Vermilion Elementary School gym was electric as 43 students proudly presented their research findings at the school’s annual Science Fair.

Organizers Raelene Tupper and Greg Haslehurst are proud this event has been ongoing for 25 years. The Science Fair was introduced to promote learning the scientific method and allow students another opportunity to learn about science. Students from grades one through six were invited to create presentations on research or experiments they had conducted at home with the help of their families.

Participation in the science fair was completely voluntary, and students were permitted to choose whether to embark on a project alone or in a group with friends.

Standing in front of their project on shadows, grade three students Hudson and Alban explained together that the science fair was about “Trying, learning new things, participating, having fun, good sportsmanship, and hanging out with friends who might look at your thing.” Alban noted that Hudson, who was participating in his first science fair, was “lucky to work with a ‘professional,’” as Alban had presented a project on mountains the previous year.

Students met with volunteer judges to discuss and explain their projects. Merit ribbons were awarded to projects that met the standard of excellence. Mr. Haslehurst commented, “The judges were impressed with the students’ strong presentation skills exhibited while explaining their projects. As well, every student was excited about their topic.” Experiments included a question, hypothesis, materials list, procedure, and conclusion, as well as supporting images. Research projects included information and pictures, drawings, or models.

Some students, like athletes Karsen, Riddick, and Aaron, focused on a project with immediate real-world applications. Using a radar gun and a target, these three analyzed the speed and accuracy of three different types of balls with the hopes of identifying the best one to use for their emerging mini stick league.

Clutching a large crystal in her palm, grade one student Josslyn earnestly explained that rose quartz has powerful healing properties.

Grade four student Issiaga used his experience with a project on monarch butterflies last year to develop an immaculately crafted black-and-white poster on magnets. Other students branched out in their use of glitter and colour to draw the interest of the crowd. With the aid of a visual hook, students were then able to explain the details of their work to parents, teachers, and fellow students.

“It is great to see students entering the Science Fair multiple times as they progress through elementary school. Hundreds of different topics have been explored by students over the years. Thank you to everyone who made this year’s science fair another success,” commented Mr. Haslehurst.

VES principal Sheila Doherty said, “The opportunity for students to engage in this rich learning experience is just one of the many wonderful outcomes of the science fair. One of my favourite things to see is how excited students are to share with others what they have learned. The leadership skills as well as communication skills that can be observed are just awesome! Mr. Haslehurst and Mrs. Tupper did a fantastic job organizing and meeting with the students to keep them on track for the science fair. Our community judges are always eager to come and listen to the students proudly tell them all about their project. Thank you to everyone who joined us for this special event!”

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