Saturday, November 22, 2014
   
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Science plus fun equals memorable education

Friction, force, mass, acceleration and electricity can all be pretty difficult concepts for students to grasp in a classroom lecture situation.

But set those same students loose in a variety of hands-on displays and they hit home a whole lot quicker.

That was one of the reasons Brady’s elementary teachers wanted to bring The Edgerton Explorit Center to town.

During the school’s first Science Fun Night on April 10, adults and children had opportunities to build human electrical circuits, ride a hovercraft, see a night sky full of constellations inside the gymnasium and dig for fossils.

At the same time, students in sixth through eighth grades presented their science projects for the semester and were ranked by a team of judges.

The winning project from the sixth grade determined which animal’s mouth contains the most bacteria.

Tessa Brown and Lexi Simants swabbed the mouths of several different animals and put the saliva cultures in petri dishes to observe bacteria growth. A cow had the most bacteria from the many animals studied.

Seventh-grade winners Karnee Hatch and Joya Most called their project “Musical Mazes.”

The girls built a maze for a rat and played different types of music—rap, country, classical, etc—each time the rat ran through the maze.

They found that the rat ran fastest with country music.

A homemade catapult test by Tustin Golter and Cole Lewis was the winning project among eighth graders.

Golter and Lewis wanted to see which objects would travel the farthest from the catapult. They launched a ping pong ball, a golf ball and a wad of paper and then measured the distance that each object flew, determining that the golf ball launched the farthest.

Judging by the size of the large crowd and the participation in activities, high school science teacher Erin Duncan deemed the night a success.

Those receiving ribbons for their science projects include:

SIXTH GRADE

First—Tessa Brown and Lexi Simants: “What Animal’s Mouth Has the Most Bacteria?”

Second—Madison Christophersen, Emery Swan and Hannah Boden: “What Makes a Volcano Erupt?”

SEVENTH GRADE

First—Karnee Hatch and Joya Most: “Musical Mazes.”

Second—Turner Nansel, Cody Tockey and Christian McLean: “Light Bulb Heat.”

Third—Elizabeth Stryker and Kaylee Messersmith: “How to Get Out Permanent Marker?”

EIGHTH GRADE

First—Tustin Golter and Cole Lewis: “What Objects Will Launch Farther Out of a Catapult?”

Second—Bailey Maddox and Elysia Olguin: “Peanuts or Popcorn? Which Does Raven Prefer?”

Third—Bowen Land and Michael Adams: “Psychedelic Liquids.”

OVERALL AWARDS

Best backboard—Bailey Maddox and Elysia Olguin.

Most independent workers—Lexi Simants and Tessa Brown.

Hardest working—Elizabeth Stryker and Kaylee Messersmith.

Most original idea—Case Axthelm and Jack Griffiths.

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