Thursday, February 4, 2016

SCIENCE FAIR . . . 2016

I've always loved the Science Fair
at Alpine Elementary!
When I first started teaching, the Science Fair
was held in the library (when we had no walls
to our classrooms).  It was open to any student
who wanted to participate, from any grade.
And, there were really no rules.

In the mid 1980's, the state changed its
curriculum, and the scientific process was
required for 5th grade.
Paul Thompson was in charge of our science fair for 5th graders,
 with everyone helping.

Things were sooooo different!
Students used poster board for the background.
Then, we were able to buy "foamcore" in Salt Lake. 
Calvan and Don would measure and score them for the backgrounds.
If a student wanted one, they paid $4.
We used to talk about how we wished we could
create the "tri-folds" and sell them to the students.
Who knew someone else would steal our idea!!!

The biggest change was the amount of research that
a student had to do.
There was no internet.  A student could not just google
"Award Winning Science Fair Projects."
Students had to use encyclopedias, interview, go to the library, etc.

After Paul went to the District Office to work,
Jody was in charge.
When our school split in 2000 because of 
Westfield having been built, we had to
RIF (Reduction in Force) several teachers.
Jody went to Snow Springs, and I was in
charge of the Science Fair from 2000
until my retirement in 2013.

I would get the papers run off, do the assembly
for the students to introduce it, make the calendars
for students to follow to prevent doing it the last minute,
get the judges (former teachers at Alpine),
buy the ribbons and treats for
for winners and honorable mention,
arrange with lunch manager to eat in classrooms
(after the library was shrunk from building a classroom
we moved to gym),
set up the tables with custodian, tape down the
project numbers (which Condita made),
fill out my class certificates, register the kids (Matt helped)
and assign numbers...which the kids knew
where to set up.

After the fair, we had clean up, then an
assembly in the gym announcing the honorable mention winners,
and the kids who would advance to the district.

Then, it was prep for the district.
Paperwork for the winners, paperwork for David Van Dijk 
(in charge of district forever),
and supply 3 judges (I was usually one).

After that, it was the BYU Science Fair.
That was great fun, because they had a TON
of fun stuff for the kids to do:
Rock climbing wall, rocket simulation, demonstrations,
and in 2003, a replica of the Wright Brothers
plane that really worked!
(100th anniversary of their 1903 Kittyhawk flight)

I was asked to come back to Alpine to help
judge the Science Fair.  I was excited!
Now, the Science Fair is in 6th grade instead of 5th.   
(Cami's doings after I retired.) 

When I first walked in, I thought "Where are 
all the projects?"  I thought it must be optional.
Natalie said she only had 21 students.
They have 3 classes, and all were that small.
There were about 105 kids my last year.
Our biggest fair was right before the split to Westfield.
We had 6 classes, with 35 students each!

The Science Fair was well organized!
Each of the 3 judges had a paper to grade each student.
It was sooo fun to talk to these students!
All of the students were well informed, and had all done a great job!

There were a lot of students that I judged that
I had taught their siblings or parents!
The only sad one were twin boys.  I taught their
older sister and brother.
The older sister and her husband are doing great!
They were even honored by the Draper Police Department
for saving a woman's life!
But, sadly, they said their brother was doing drugs. 
(I could see that coming...he's 17 now)
Their project was an interesting one about fingerprints.
They only had 3 prints...theirs, and their mom.
I was really interested to see fingerprints of identical twins!
They had a couple of similarities, but that was it!

One of the funniest was looking through a lab book.
The boy had one small entry.  It was dated January 28.
When I asked about his lab book, he was
quite proud of himself  to have done it in one day...the day before the fair!

And here's the "only in Alpine" moment.
 One of the students that did an experiment with teeth,
had all of these teeth mounted on wood.
I asked where she had got all the teeth.
(They always say a dentist, or their dad, who is a dentist.)
I wasn't prepared for this answer:
She said her mom had saved them all from the
"tooth fairy" visits from her family for a future science fair project!

I'm sure the afternoon was great!
The school classes come through, and families, also.
With a lot less students, it would not be nearly as crowded!

Here are the 10 winning projects that 
will advance to the District Science Fair:

This project, in my opinion, was the best!
They had made different color suckers, but all were
the same flavor.  Root beer.
I taught Brigham's sister, Jane.
When I was first put in the Stake Young Women,
his Grandma Heiner was the Stake Young Women President.
His mom was a Young Woman at the time.

I taught the sisters of both of these girls my last year.
Sammi's mom went through 5th grade here.
I used to help grade her English papers in jr high and high school.
Her Grandma Hanson was our librarian for my first 25 years.

I taught 2 of this girl's sisters, and a brother.
I also taught her mom, Jessica Evans.
I also taught all of Jessica's siblings.

This one was really original.  Loved it!

I taught this girl's sister.
Her dad was a couple of years behind me at AFHS.

Here are the students that will advance to the
District Science Fair.
(Photo from Sherry Arnold's Facebook)
Many of these students have a good shot
of advancing from the district to the
Central Utah Science Fair!

(Clicking on Science Fair to the right, shows
all of the school and district science fairs
since I started this blog.)

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