Science fair is a tradition at Morris Bye

Science projects of all types were set up in the small gymnasium at Morris Bye Elementary School, Coon Rapids, Jan. 16.

Bailey Paine (left) and Molly Terebayza (right), fourth graders at Morris Bye Elementary School, Coon Rapids, went outside in the snow for the experiments on their science fair project, mentos vs soda. Their goal was to find out which one of four soda products (Diet Coke, Coke, Sprite and lemonade) caused the greatest explosion of mentos candy; the result was Diet Coke because of the acetate in the drink.
Bailey Paine (left) and Molly Terebayza (right), fourth graders at Morris Bye Elementary School, Coon Rapids, went outside in the snow for the experiments on their science fair project, mentos vs soda. Their goal was to find out which one of four soda products (Diet Coke, Coke, Sprite and lemonade) caused the greatest explosion of mentos candy; the result was Diet Coke because of the acetate in the drink.

The occasion was the school’s annual science fair, which has been a tradition at Morris Bye for more than 25 years, according to Principal Janel Wahlin.

Open to all third- through fifth-grade students, there were 46 projects on show.

But the number of students taking part was larger, 68, because several worked together as pairs on a project, said Stephanie Enge, fourth-grade teacher and science fair coordinator.

“This was not a class project,” she said. “It was something the students did on their own time.”

According to Enge, students were free to pick their own projects and scientific questions to answer, provided it was a topic they could investigate.

Students began work on the projects just before the Thanksgiving break, Enge said.

They received no grade or course credit for participating, she said.

“It was simply a learning experience for them,” Enge said.

“The kids who took part in the science fair were very excited.”

Judging took place the morning of Jan. 16, then Morris Bye students who did not take part in science fair got to tour the exhibits in the afternoon.

For two hours the evening of Jan. 16, the science fair was open to parents, family and members of the community to talk with students about their projects.

Judges included staff from Morris Bye and Anoka-Hennepin School District 11, parent volunteers and community members, according to Enge.

Judging criteria including attractiveness of the display of the project; clear purpose of the project; procedures that answered the basic question and how well the student understood the project; and did he/she answer the basic question or purpose.

Three people judged each project with the final score being the average of the scores given by each judge, according to Wahlin.

All participating students received a medallion, while ribbons were awarded for a superior project (blue), average (red) and fair (white).

Colton Banks (sitting) and Henry Allen, both third graders, joined forces for the Morris Bye Elementary School Science Fair on a project called play-doh electricity, which examined how the amount of salt affects the conductivity of play-doh. They used a battery driven motor for their experiment, which found the more salt the better. Bailey Paine (left) and Molly Terebayza (right), fourth graders at Morris Bye Elementary School, Coon Rapids, went outside in the snow for the experiments on their science fair project, mentos vs soda. Their goal was to find out which one of four soda products (Diet Coke, Coke, Sprite and lemonade) caused the greatest explosion of mentos candy; the result was Diet Coke because of the acetate in the drink. Jenny Ntambwe (left) and Peace Akinroluyo (right), both fourth graders at Morris Bye Elementary School, focused on food waste for their science fair project and how to stop it with starving people in Africa in mind. Third graders Cecilia Harris (left) and Tyra Phaviseth researched how different liquids affect plant growth, experimenting with regular water and salt water. The plant grew when regular water was used, but died when salt water was poured on it. According to Harris, she thought that the plant would grow with salt water, but Phaviseth did not. “Tyra was right,” Harris said.
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Bailey Paine (left) and Molly Terebayza (right), fourth graders at Morris Bye Elementary School, Coon Rapids, went outside in the snow for the experiments on their science fair project, mentos vs soda. Their goal was to find out which one of four soda products (Diet Coke, Coke, Sprite and lemonade) caused the greatest explosion of mentos candy; the result was Diet Coke because of the acetate in the drink.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]