Steamboat students explore science at Christian Heritage
Fair culminates monthlong unit at Christian Heritage School
Steamboat Springs — Joey Berlet had been planning his science project since the beginning of the school year. He knew come January — also known as Science Month at Christian Heritage School where he is a second-grader — he would be charged with building something that floats.
While other projects were canoe-like in construction, Joey’s looked more like a catamaran-houseboat made of cardboard and soda bottles. As he placed his creation in a tub of water in front of the entire elementary school, his classmates all cheered as it sat on top of the water.
His wasn’t the only creation that worked: First- and second-grade teacher Tracie Patterson said all of her students’ projects floated at least momentarily during Friday’s elementary school science fair.
“I think, for the most part, the students don’t have a lot of different roles, so this allows them to be creative and have fun,” Patterson said.
The science fair Friday featured a morning of demonstrations from every kindergartner through sixth-grader. Different age levels were assigned different projects, and the morning started with the kindergartners’ egg drop.
The youngest pupils had to encase their egg to experiment with cushioning for a throw off the balcony of the auditorium.
“It was so fun,” kindergartner Rubi Regan said. “I put my egg inside a football.”
All in the name of science, the children cheered even when their classmates’ eggs broke.
After the egg drop, Joey and his classmates tested their floating projects, also to cheers.
The third- and fourth-grade group was charged with building inventions, which turned up some creative and fun ideas.
Anthony Vasquez invented a way to make a mundane task a little more fun.
“My mom is always telling me to clean my room, like every day,” he told his classmates. Then he showed them how he attached a toy basketball hoop to his laundry hamper to turn cleaning into a game.
Katelyn Kline wanted to solve a problem a little further from home. She said she had learned that people in Haiti carry baskets on their heads, supporting them with their hands.
Katelyn wanted to help them by inventing a basket with a chinstrap to hold it on.
“It’s good because they can make it themselves, too,” she said, demonstrating with her prototype.
After the inventions, fifth- and sixth-graders showed off their experiments, which included a hypothesis, data collection and a conclusion.
Fifth-grader Makenzie Stine did an experiment to see what brand of potato chips was greasiest.
“I learned that you have to collect data more than once to prove yourself,” she said, after finding that her hypothesis was wrong and kettle chips were actually greasier than Pringles. “I like learning about new things and exploring, and it was fun to see what the other kids experienced.”
Amber Townsend, a fourth-grader, got to stay through the whole presentation to see what her peers had come up with. She said Science Month is one of her favorite units.
“You get to think of a lot of cool ideas, and it’s fun to experiment, and if they don’t work, you try another, and it’s challenging,” Amber said. “That’s what makes it fun.”
— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or e-mail ninglis@SteamboatToday.com
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