The second annual Science Fair for students 10-12 grades was held at Baker High School Nov. 17. The fair, under the direction of Mrs. Linda Rost, had 27 projects presented with 60 students participating.
By Sherry Vogel
Although this is Baker’s second Science Fair, this is Mrs. Rost’s ninth year supervising a science competition. Before transfering two years ago to the Baker School District, she was the science teacher in Ekalaka for seven years.
“While at Carter County High School, I had eight students compete at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, and four have won awards at the Fair (three fourth places, one third place, and multiple special awards). Four students have competed at the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, and one received first place among all of the national projects. This student then attended the London Youth Science forum as part of his prize for winning Nationals,” said Rost.
Mrs. Rost’s dedication and hard work has paid off as she has guided students to find success in the field of science. A few of her students, after graduation, are pursuing careers in science. Recent Baker graduate, Lauren Wang, attended the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, PA, last year with her project on The Effect of Human Voice on Cattle Heart Rate. She is currently attending California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA, majoring in animal science. She plans to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine.
The progression of competition from the local level onto Nationals looks like this. Grand prize winners from the Baker fair will be eligible to move on to Regionals, which will be held in Billings Mar. 18-19. Winners there will move up to compete in the State Science Fair in Missoula, Mar. 21-22. The final level of competition state-side is the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) which hosts 1,500 students from over 70 countries. ISEF, which organized in 1959 and now is in its 56th year, is featured in the movie “October Sky”, which is about a boy from a small town who competed at the National Science Fair with his homemade rocket and won first place in the competition. The science fair they competed at is the same students compete at today, except it is now called the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
The three categories of competition are Physical Science, Psychology and Human Biology, and Biology and Health Science. Six local residents served as judges.
The students chose their own projects and were judged on a rubic divided into eight divisions: purpose and hypothesis, introduction, procedures, results conclusions, and presentation which included their board and creativity. Each division was alloted three points with a maximum of 24 total points.
Excitement was in the air as the judges circulated throughout the exhibits. A typical question asked by a judge might be, “Why is this relevant?” or “What have you changed in your personal life based on the knowledge you obtained during your project?”
When Taylyn Koenig, Kanesha Wyrick, and Bailey Hoeger, presenting Melting Point of Chocolate, were posed the question, “Where did you come up with this idea?”. Resourceful Hoeger replied that he had a lot of chocolate on hand after Halloween and they created the study around that premise.
“Glow Sticks”, presented by Lexi Hartse and Melissa Breitbach, astonished their judges when they questioned the girls on how often they checked the glow stick to record whether the glow stick was glowing or not. The judges inquired, “So you checked it every hour?”. Breitbach answered, “Yes, I set the alarm for every hour.”
“How long did it take,” the judges asked?
“Fifty point three hours,” replied Breitbach.
The dedication of many of these budding scientists was evident. Projects were diverse ranging from titles such as Effects of Painkillers on Earthworms and Do goats know their names or do they just respond to sound, to PH balance of pop and heat and CO2 given off from different amounts of an ethanol/gasoline mixture.
Each young scientist was a winner and awarded a blue, red or white ribbon. Grand prize places were honored with a trophy.
Grand prizes were awarded in each category and were: Physical Science – Lexi Hartse and Melissa Breitbach – “Glow Sticks”.
Psychology and Human Biology – Taylor Stinnett and Taylor Miller – “Color Vision Deficiency”.
Biology and Health Science – Daniel Rost and Luke Gonsioroski – “Respiration Rate of Fish in Different Temperatures”.