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Column: Prairie students excel at science fair

District 518

WORTHINGTON -- Our third annual Science Fair took place recently at Prairie Elementary. All third- and fourth-grade students were invited to participate. This year, we had more than 60 participants involved in about 40 different projects.

Eighteen projects received first-, second- or third-place awards. In addition to those awards, we had three other special recognitions. The students who were awarded first, second and third places from their grade or their category have been awarded the opportunity to compete at the Regional Science Fair today in Mankato at Minnesota State University.

The different categories were Earth Science, Physical Science, Life Science and Engineering. The judges got together to discuss where each project would fit best within the categories prior to our Prairie Elementary Science Fair. There were a variety of different areas of science represented in projects ranging from topics like Oil Spills, Praying Mantis, Permanent Marker and Bacteria Growth.

The students were able to choose their project topic and had the option to work in pairs. The science project is mostly completed at home with some parental assistance and supervision. We also offered a two-day after-school assistance program to make sure students were on the right track and were using the scientific method correctly.

The day of the Science Fair at Prairie, the students were each on their own! They had three judges interview them about their project and the scientific method. The judges had a scoresheet they used to make sure each project had all the right requirements. Some of the questions that were asked included whether or not they had help from an adult, what their hypothesis was and if it was correct, and what they could change. Some of the things students were judged on were the steps of the scientific method, data observation and collection, relating conclusions to their hypothesis, research, creativity, and their presentation and overall content knowledge of their project.

The following students placed at the Prairie Elementary Science Fair and are participating in the Regional Science Fair today: Ainsley Christensen, Emmet Bickett and Casey Michelson, Zach Ahrenstorff, Stephanie Mejia, Ashlyn Greve, Will Brandner, Kalea Appel, Bryce Olsen, Adam Koller, Davis Moore and Christipher Lee, Anwar Farra, Anna Meyer and Jacee Turner.

We would like to thank all of the participants and judges for their hard work, and we are looking forward to next year's science fair. Good luck to all of our PRAIRIE SCIENTISTS at Regionals!

Stephanie Fletcher and Tasha Raymo are teachers at Prairie Elementary.