From Rockets to Robots, Curiosity Shines at Science Fair
By Erin Pant
Eighty-six student scientists spent their spring designing, conducting, and analyzing experiments. Led by parent volunteer Mrs. McAndrew-Benavides, a new science fair model was introduced at Saint Peter’s this year.
In March, students had the opportunity to sign-up for the voluntary activity and choose their project topics. Students could work individually or with a partner. Work took place outside of normal school hours. Weekly instructions, reminders, and resources were sent to assist students throughout their projects.
“It was a great learning experience where everything wasn’t directed by certain guidelines or instructions, you were free to experiment and figure things out on your own and make your own deductions,” said eighth grader Marin Cobo who investigated Cone Analysis for Rocket Height Optimization.
Students representing every grade from pre-kindergarten through eighth, presented their findings at the Science Fair on Friday, April 21. For students in PreK-5, the Science Fair was a non-competitive opportunity. For students in grades 6-8, “Best in Category” awards, such as Best Research Project, Best Experiment, Best Demonstration, and Crowd Pleaser, were presented. Judges included science professionals, local high school teachers, and community members.
“Our students showed off how curious, creative, and courageous they are. I loved hearing them talk about their investigations!” said middle-school science teacher Mrs. Caldeira.
Fourth Grader Charlotte Scango’s project explored whether fruit could produce power to light a light bulb. “No matter how old you are you can find a project that works for you,” Scango said, “It was fun walking around learning about things, especially from the little kids.”
Project topics represented a diverse array of scientific fields including aerospace, biology, biomedical, chemistry, computer science, engineering, food science, geology, kinesiology, power, and life science.
“Special thanks to all of the volunteers from the parish, local schools, and community who helped make this event happen,” said Mrs. McAndrew-Benavides. “I hope it’s the beginning of a new annual tradition.”