Sultan Elementary School held a science fair last Thursday that featured 160 different student and class projects.
Participation in the school’s Science Fair is mandatory for fourth and fifth grade students. Students in Kindergarten through third grade participate via class-wide projects and are encouraged to create their own individual experiments if they are inclined to do so.
First, second and third place ribbons are awarded to students in each classroom, plus three honorable mentions. More than 300 parents stopped by to peruse the exhibits during Thursday evening’s display event.
With the aid of a committee, first grade teacher Cynthia Lee has helped coordinate the Science Fair in all of her 12 years with Sultan Elementary School.
“It’s just kind of progressed every year; we get bigger and better,” said Lee.
The Science Fair is meant to teach the students how to utilize the scientific method; kids are instructed to pose a scientific question and develop a hypothesis. They then define their procedures, record all the data, report a conclusion and explain whether their original hypothesis was correct or incorrect.
A valuable lesson of the Science Fair is the realization that, just because their hypotheses prove incorrect does not detract from the quality and the value of their projects.
Fourth grade student Cooper Johnsen was one of the first place winners in his class for his project on the glowing effect that phosphors have on regular tap water when introduced to a black light. Phosphors are found in the ink used to make highlighter pens, as well as tonic water; both of which Johnsen used to demonstrate the phenomenon.
He explained how he was able to submerge a highlighter pen in some water, so that the phosphors were released into the liquid. The water that had encountered the highlighter pen ink and the tonic water both glowed brightly when placed in front of Johnsen’s black light.
“It has a chemical called phosphor that can glow,” explained Johnsen.
Another first place winner, Jaydon Torza, experimented with voltage and magnetic force.
Some students found ways to incorporate their household pets with their projects. One student explored the accuracy of a dog’s sense of smell, while another decided to see if dogs preferred homemade dog food or store-bought.
Another student experimented with plants and determined that water, as opposed to Sprite, is a far more effective tool when it comes to growing a healthy oregano plant.
“I’m so proud of these kids, I can’t tell you,” said Sultan Elementary School Principal Laurel Anderson. “It’s a great feeling.”