Northwestern Press

Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Kairi Charles balanced a candle on her “putt-putt boat” that produced steam so her boat could move. Kairi Charles balanced a candle on her “putt-putt boat” that produced steam so her boat could move.
PRESS PHOTOS BY ANNA GILGOFFBenjamin Smith built his catapult using a kit. PRESS PHOTOS BY ANNA GILGOFFBenjamin Smith built his catapult using a kit.
Cora Gorman wanted to find a clean way to make a power source. Cora Gorman wanted to find a clean way to make a power source.
Jesse Kunsman said, “It took me a while to think of it and awhile to do the writing.” Jesse Kunsman said, “It took me a while to think of it and awhile to do the writing.”
Sadie Davis’ colorful explanation board accompanied her experiment. Sadie Davis’ colorful explanation board accompanied her experiment.
Melissa Whaling, Brianna Werley and Ashlyn Ahner were among the members of the Science National Honor Society judging the projects. Melissa Whaling, Brianna Werley and Ashlyn Ahner were among the members of the Science National Honor Society judging the projects.

Honor society hosts annual science fair

Thursday, April 27, 2017 by ANNA GILGOFF Special to The Press in School

While folks gathered across the country to celebrate the importance of science on April 22, young scientists were making their own scientific statements in the high school cafeteria during the annual science fair.

Students from kindergarten to eighth grade were invited to submit science projects.

Members of the Science National Honor Society served as judges.

“All the Science National Honor Society members are judging how well the kids understand the scientific ideas behind their projects,” said organization President Anthony Vennera. “It’s interesting seeing some of the experiments the little kids come up with.

”When you’re young, nothing is impossible, so coming up with ideas is a limitless opportunity.”

A wide range of projects were on display.

Cora Gorman’s project included lemons she had wired to produce battery power.

“I wanted to make a clean way to make batteries and a power source,” she explained. “A lemon works because it’s acidic, [but] you could use limes, too.”

Gorman is so fascinated with science she wants to become a veterinarian one day.

“I have three cats and a dog now,” she said.

On another cafeteria table, first-grader Sadie Davis was busy testing the pH of liquids into which she had an avocado pit suspended on toothpicks.

It was remarkable to hear the first grader rattle off the names of each liquid.

“This is hydrogenated lime; this is vinegar and this is water,” she said, pointing to each container.

“These are the pH strips,” she continued, holding one up before dipping it into one of the solutions. “You just have to match each one with the chart before throwing them away.”

Third grader Benjamin Smith built a catapult as part of his science project called, “Ready Launch.”

“The lighter objects went further. I don’t really have a reason why but I think it’s because of mass,” he admitted.

The catapult was built from a kit which according to Smith, “took 30 minutes to build. Bob the Bunny wanted to reach the Starburst because he likes them.”

Parents of the youngsters were on hand to watch their young scientists at work.

“We look forward to it every year,” said Benjamin’s mother Erin Smith. “He’s actually missing two flag football games to be here.”

Benjamin’s brother, Sam, who is a first grader, also submitted a project to the science fair.

“It introduces them to a new science projects and gets them interested in something more than I-pads and TV,” Erin Smith said.

Judges Brian Garbacik and Justin Searcy were impressed with fifth grader Jesse Kunsman’s project titled, “Sink about This.”

“This was a well put together and complete project,” Searcy said. “It even had different variables. It’s good to see kids at a young age be interested in science.”

“It took me a while to think of it and it took me a while to do the writing,” Kunsman said. “I wanted to do a project [having to do] with mass.”

“His writing is better than mine,” quipped Garbacik. “We need [kids interested in] science to advance as a society.”

Third-grader Kairi Charles got her idea for making a putt-putt boat from a Japanese anime film she saw last year.

“The heat turns into steam and makes the boat move,” she explained, as the colorful boat floated in a tub of water.

“She was here last year and she loved it,” her father Mike Charles said. “It’s pretty sweet. It’s great she’s learning science and presentation skills.”

Coincidentally, April 22 was also Earth Day.

Science National Honor Society Treasurer Julia Haas suggested sponsoring the science fair on Earth Day.

“I pulled out my calendar and asked ‘what if we did it on Earth Day,’” Haas said. “It’s a great way to celebrate science and make more people aware of Earth Day.

“That’s important because we can’t take this world for granted. If we destroy it, we will be no more. Be nice to the environment because this is all we have. ”

The timing seemed appropriate because in Haas’s view “everything can be explained through scientific reasoning. Why is the ocean blue? Why is the grass green? Science helps answer the questions of why things happen and what they are.”

“Earth Day celebrates living on this earth and everything it has to offer so we thought we could celebrate it,” Vennera said. “I think science is not only about creating new things, but [providing] a language for scientists to express themselves.

“Everyone needs their own way to do that. NASA just found Planet X, so we need to create technology that will explore that planet and the rest of the galaxy.”

Science National Honor Society Adviser Bob Biese, who also teaches math in the high school, was pleased with the event.

“I think it’s great for students presenting and great for students judging,” Biese said. “They really enjoy interacting with each other.

“Learning how to problem solve is important. It’s becoming a lost art but going back to the roots and knowing how to do things is important.”

“I think science is a huge part of the world because science is logical,” Haas said.

First-grader Sadie Davis couldn’t agree more.

“Science is what you learn about and what you experience,” she said. “I think that science is just the best in the world.”