by K.J. Lincoln
A Dog’s Favorite Color, Static Levitating Orb, Cool Dough, Veggie Power, and No Butter? No Problem! are a few of the interesting entries in this year’s science fair at the Lower Kuskokwim School District.
And there was also: Traditional Fur Coats vs. Modern Coats, Shedding Light on Ions, and What’s So Weird About Ivory Soap?
Winning the Judge’s Choice Award was “Bottle Flipping” by 5th graders Rory Peters & Ellis Johnson of Bethel.
The Grand Prize went to “Effects of Factors on Reaction” with scientists Kieran Bentley and Jakob Sipary of Napaskiak in the High School Division.
These two projects will advance on to represent LKSD in the 62nd Annual Alaska Science and Engineering Fair (ASEF) which will take place March 24 – 26, 2017 at the Northway Mall in Anchorage.
Overall, there were 29 science projects on display at the fair this past weekend, March 9-11, 2017. These included three in the K-3 Primary group, six in the Grades 4th-5th Elementary Division, twelve in the Middle School Division Grades 6th-8th, and nine in the High School Division.
45 students hailed from Oscarville, Napaskiak, Toksook Bay, Kwethluk, Kipnuk, Tuntutuliak, and the host community schools Gladys Jung and Bethel Regional.
It was an activity-packed weekend for the junior scientists who participated in group activities in between judging and presentation of their projects. There were also the assemblies held at Gladys Jung Elementary with guest presenters Ian Sterry and Brad Alstrom with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) who presented “React-O-Blast” and “Electrifying Science” on Friday and “Motion Commotion” on Saturday.
On Thursday the students went swimming at the pool.
On Friday the presenters hosted an open house for the community to come and see their projects. Sami Pellumbi of Bethel was one of the parents who came to the event.
“It is very nice. It’s nice to see all the kids’ projects, it’s very impressive,” he said.
8th grader Sean Fermoyle, originally of Chevak, talked about his Veggie Power project. He said the fair was really good and he was learning a lot.
“Electricity is produced when you put a zinc galvanized nail and a copper penny into a potato,” he explained. “The acids in the potato react to the electrodes and make electrons. My question was which potato makes the most electricity.”
He had a graph of the different types of potatoes and the results.
“We just wanted to check if Ivory Soap would expand more than Dial Soap,” said senior Jawn Carl of Kipnuk of her project. “Our conclusion was that our hypothesis was correct. Ivory did indeed expand a little more than Dial because of the air inside of it. We did this because we wanted to see how people can buy two different bar soaps and get their money’s worth.”
On Saturday the fair concluded with an awards ceremony. The guest judge was Janessa Esquible who is a Fish Biologist working locally with the Orutsararmiut Native Council.
Students received 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards in the three divisions of, Elementary, Middle School and High School along with the two elite awards – Grand Prize and Judges Choice.
“Special thanks to the classroom teachers, administrators and chaperones who make Science and the LKSD Science Fair a priority for our students,” wrote Jeff Blevins, Instructional Coach and Science Lead Facilitator for LKSD. “Your hard work is apparent and appreciated. Students, make a point to let them know that you value their work and attention. Also to the numerous LKSD District Office employees who go above and beyond to help. Without your devotion to our students, this would not be possible.”
2017 LKSD Science Fair Results
1st Place – “Bottle Flipping” with Scientists Rory Peters & Ellis Johnson – Bethel
2nd Place – “Static Levitating Orb” with Scientists Drini Pellumbi & Vjosa Pellumbi – Bethel
3rd Place – “Cool Dough” with Scientist Elliot Gill – Bethel
Middle School Division
1st “Body Temperature and Stress” with Scientists Carrie Dock & Rex Fox – Kipnuk
2nd “Water Bottle Challenge” with Scientist Madyson Fentress – Bethel
3rd “The Floating Egg” with Scientist Courtney Lincoln – Toksook Bay
High School Division
1st “Effects of Factors on Reaction” with Scientists Kieran Bentley & Jakob Sipary – Napaskiak
2nd “Caffeine Effects” with Scientist Whitney Morgan – Tuntutuliak
3rd “Acids N Bases” with Scientists Trinsten Dock & Irene Paul – Kipnuk
“Bottle Flipping” with Scientists Rory Peters & Ellis Johnson – Bethel
“Effects of Factors on Reaction” with Scientists Kieran Bentley & Jakob Sipary – Napaskiak