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).

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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