Prairie students shine during science fair

WORTHINGTON -- The Prairie Elementary gym was full of young scientists, judges and proud parents Wednesday afternoon for the ninth annual student science fair.

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Prairie Elementary students who participated in the student science fair are shown Wednesday afternoon along with teachers Stephanie Fletcher and Tasha Raymo.(Tim Middagh/Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON - The Prairie Elementary gym was full of young scientists, judges and proud parents Wednesday afternoon for the ninth annual student science fair.


Third and fourth graders volunteered to participate in the event in December. Since then, they working hard to have their projects ready for the big day. Students could choose among different categories such as earth science, physical science, transportation energy and life/ family consumer science.


“They worked so hard,” said fourth-grade teacher Stephanie Fletcher. “You can see the different categories. In the past we’ve mostly had volcanoes, but this year you can see they really expanded.”



All the students who participated were presented with medals, and those who excelled in each category and grade level received trophies. One student who proudly carried his third-place trophy home was third-grader Dylan Schuett, who was recognized for his project, ‘How Steamboats Run’ in the Transportation Energy category. Schuett said his mother, Laura, encouraged him to be part of the science fair this year.


“I knew he was really into steamships and boats in general, so I thought this would be a really good learning experience for him,” Laura said.


What started with a simple pot pot boat turned out to be one of the most popular experiments of the fair.


“I found a pot pot boat in an antique store and at first I thought it was just a normal toy boat, but then I did some research and I found out that it was more than just a toy,” Dylan said.



Dylan’s experiment consisted of two boats. One was an actual pop pop boat that moved by steam created from a small candle and water, while the other boat was a can cut in half with a candle inside it and a copper wire on top that extended from one end of the can to the other. Once the candle is turned on, the copper wire boils the water and creates steam.


“I think he did very well,” Laura said. “I was very happy with it because there was a lot of tough competition.”


Dylan had such a fun time working with his mom that he is already thinking of his project for next year.


“My next project will be about cars and how cars go around loops without falling,” Dylan said.



Another student who took a trophy home was fourth-grader Landon Mimick with ‘Fruits vs. Vegetables, The Volt Off.”  The innovative project placed second in the Transportation Energy category, and Mimick also earned third place among fourth-graders. Although Mimick has always been interested in science  - particularly mechanics  - this was the first time he participated in the fair.


He explained that he wanted to learn which fruit and vegetable produced the most volts. His findings showed that oranges produced the most volts, followed by potatoes, cucumbers and lemons.


“We were originally going to make a potato clock, but then we thought we could do something more and see how much electricity a vegetable can generate,” Mimick said.


Mimick learned more about electricity, volts and why certain foods produced more electricity than others during his experiment.


Landon’s mother, Randi, who has been a judge for seven years at the fair, said it took a lot of effort to finish the project on time, but it was all worth it when she saw her son presenting it.


“I am very proud of him - he worked hard, we all worked hard,” Randi said. “It’s nice to see that he was rewarded for that.”


Randi said she saw a greater variety of projects this year, and she could tell students were really invested in their experiments. She noted that learning becomes easier for kids when they are really enjoying what they are doing.


“I think it really gives them an opportunity to have a choice,” Randi said. “If they do something that means something to them, they are really going to learn from it.”     




Earth Science: First place, Mary Dykema; Second place,Patricio Castro Castro; Third place, Bailey Ponto and Hannah MeNab


Physical Science: First place, Raegan Phelps and Austin Kinser; Second place, Kennedy Woodbury and Madison Sieve. Natya Khamphanh. Third place: Isaac Kinser


Transportation Energy: First place, Bennett Oberloh; Second place, Landon Mimick; Third place, Dylan Schuett


Life/ Family Consumer Science: First place, Taylor Michelson and Lauryn Ahlers; Second place, Anthony Jimenez; Third place (tie): Cassie Schulz and Friendly Paw, Paige Barber.


Third Grade: First place, Raegan Phelps and Austin Kinser; Second place (tie): Kennedy Woodbury and Madison Sieve, Natya Khamphanh; 


Fourth Grade: First place, Bennett Oberloh; Second place, Isaac Kinser; Third place, Landon Mimick.


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