Forty-three Thomasville City Schools first-place winners will advance to the ABAC Regional Science and Engineering Fair on February 12. Scholars Academy sixth through ninth grade and middle school AIMS students are required to complete a science fair project for the school-level fair which was held on December 11.
Students start out learning the basics of the process required to complete a science fair project while in the sixth grade. Several check points are outlined in a detailed process to prevent procrastination and to reinforce each step along the journey.
Thomasville City Schools Science Fair Coordinator Jonathan Ariail teaches physical science, AP Physics, and AP Environmental Science, and he sees science fair projects as a great opportunity for students to explore a topic that is interesting to them.
“Students also learn how to manage a long-term project that has many separate parts. It's a great opportunity for students to practice planning and organization skills,” said Ariail.
For younger students, science fair is a little tougher because the sixth graders are new to it and the seventh graders are still warming up to it.
Seventh grader Emma Ryan said, “Science fair was easier this year because I did it last year. The hardest part about science fair to me is getting all of the information you need from your experiment; the rest is easy.”
There is a level of maturity and organization students grow into as they reach the higher grades, and as they mature the level of support should, in turn, decrease from the adults who guide them. The students’ last year of required science fair is ninth grade because they move on to other big projects like the International Baccalaureate Sophomore Personal Project. Some high school students continue competing in science fair into their senior year.
“As the students grow in their experience, they tend to branch out into areas and ideas that interest them and they become more and more independent,” said physical science, chemistry, and AP Chemistry teacher Bethany Hayes.
A student starts the process with deciding on a scientific question. Next, he or she formulates a hypothesis. After research and planning methods and materials involved in an experiment, he or she tests out the hypothesis by doing an experiment. The students use a logbook along the way to write all of their notes, charts, graphs, and conclusions. The logbook is pretty much like a rough copy before the final presentation on the backboard.. The last thing that the students had to put together was a binder with their background research paper, sources used, graphs, charts, and their forms. Analyzing data and drawing conclusions lead to the creation of a backboard showing the whole process of the project.
“The project helps students learn how to design a way to rigorously test an idea,” said Ariail.
Each student gets to pick his or her own project topic. Any topic will work as long as long as it can be tested. Ninth grader Kaitlyn Leach did her project on how soda’s affect teeth.
Hayes enjoys watching students take something they enjoy, like soccer, and test something around that, like how the amount of air pressure in the ball affects how far the ball will travel.
“One year I had a student who was interested in solar panels, so she build a remote control car that was powered by solar energy,” said Hayes.
Projects were due a full week before the school-level science fair to allow time for students to get feedback from their teachers before the judging from outside entities from local universities and other professionals in various fields of science. First place place projects are sent up to be judged at the region level.
The sixth grade students who came in first place are: Arlisha Madison, Jocelyn Watson, Caroline Bass, Kendall Cullison, Cole Ridenour, Garrett Ledford, Emily Sumner, Will Roberts, Nicholas Hall, and Jay Sanders. Sixth grade winners also include: 2nd place - Ava White, Ellie Griffin, Layne Oldham, Sydney Jackson, Jada Blake, Clarke Finger, Matthew Lewis, Brooks Butler, Sam Carter, and Carson Cochran; 3rd place - Ben Rawlings, Shelby Johnson, Sydney Deutsch, Nolan Barnes, Douglas Augustine, Tahj Brown, Andrew Geyer, Kellie Brewer, Frederick Diggs, and Layne Whiddon; and Honorable Mention - Molly Bennett, Grace Hatchell, Kaitlyn Hurst, Drew Parker, Isaac Richardson, Abigail Martin, Ethan Pyle, Gabriel Duncan, Ben Yentzer, and Alyssa Allen.
The seventh grade students who came in first place are: Will Cook, Isabella Pozo, Julianna Watson, Seth Welch, Tian Green, Madeline Gainous, Clyde Allen, Abi White, Carsyn Kelley, and Mallory Fletcher. Seventh grade winners also include: 2nd place - Jax Hodge, Maddie Rome, Justin Quinet, Marcus Cordista, Sara Strickland, Kameah Ramsby, Riann Duggan, McKenna Willis, Jordan Williams, Jackson Coppedge; 3rd place - Josh Streets, Allie Ann Wheeler, Aubrey Sawyer, Lauren Thrift, Lauren Renfroe, Anna Lane Turner, Chakia Tucker, Sierra Perkins, Taylor Martin, and Jasmine Ford; and Honorable Mention - Alyssa Clark, Dashon Worthy, Serenity Williams, Steven Weisenborn, Faith Ridley, Jamie Williams, Maggie May, Jack Wood, Baylen Young, and Amber Booker.
The eighth grade students who came in first place are: Braxton Sizemore, Maylon Cochran, Corey Smith, Connor Poole, Thomas Butler, Eli Harbin, Elijah Humphries, Winston Cornish, Barrett Martin, and Emmy Hayes. Eighth grade winners also include: 2nd place - James Nix, Addie Rinehart, Ben Bennett, Tanner Slater, Whit Hayes, Ryan Jones, Spear Celaya, Kaitlyn Jackson, Allyson Myrick, and Jacob Bradshaw; 3rd place - Elease Ryals, Railey Richardson, Nik von Hellens, Jack Edge, Harrison Stewart, Myetta McLendon, Hannah Fromkin, Lindsay Tillman, Rachel Brewer, and Brittany Lane; and Honorable Mention - Peyton Owens, Smith Largent, Nya Grantham, Carlos Lopez, Zaria Meeks, Katie Tabb, John Autry, Nathan Easler,Maria Rodriguez, and Haleigh Bass.
The ninth grade students who came in 1st place are: Mason Wilson/Emily Dixon, Braxton Beckham, Clayton Salter/Cassidy Lane, Morgan Savatgy, Dane Dyksterhouse, Ana Wortham, Olivia Sawyer, Sophie Barnes, Latatyana Hadley, and Keisha Patel/Claudia White. NInth grade winners also include: 2nd place - Erin Quick, Elijah Winterbottom, Amber Sarabia, Zack Artz, Veruanikka Newsome, Braxton Hall, Alston Stevenson, Emily Dukes, Emma and Cali Bosman, and Haley Bennett; 3rd place - Mallory Singletary, Margo Rainey, Luke Wallace, Sydney McKay, Jemari Sapp, Ben Dozier, Javonte McGriff, Brighton Miller, Heaven Robinson, and Cassidy Clark; and Honorable Mention are Maura Shiner, Frederick Drayton, Jack Reed Anderson, Christian Pyle, Miranda Roberson, Celia Nix, Nykerria Hayes, and Seth Wier.