CPUD Sponsors Science Fair

Science Fair Fun

General Manager Marc Farmer helps judge local Science Fair
sponsored by Clatskanie PUD

What do exploding volcanoes, swimming Peeps, and tornadoes all have in common? They were all on display at the third annual Clatskanie Science Fair. Proud parents and talented young scientists filled the elementary school gym with excitement and anticipation on the evening of April 10, 2014. Sixty students from kindergarten through high school seniors competed for prizes and a first place blue ribbon. This was the first year that the middle and high school students were able to participate at a competitive level, the other years they just displayed projects and helped with the elementary grades competition.

Clatskanie PUD was proud to help sponsor the science fair that was hosted by the Parents Supporting Education Association of Clatskanie Elementary School. “It was an honor to help provide an opportunity for the next generation of scientists to show off their hard work,” said Clatskanie PUD General Manager, Marc Farmer. Marc served as one of the judges along with: Mr. James Byrne- CMHS Science teacher, Mr. Tim Kay- CMHS Science teacher, Mr. Jordan Slavish- CMHS Math teacher, Mr. Lloyd Hartley- Clatskanie School District Superintendent, and Ms. Liana Harden- Faculty Research Assistant, Oregon State University, GROW Healthy Kids & Communities.

The room was filled with corrugated cardboard display boards showing the details of the experiments. From magic sand to aerospace prototypes, the same basic process was followed by each student no matter what the subject of their experiment. They started by asking a question and doing the research on the topic to develop an informed hypothesis. The student then developed a procedure, identified the variables, gathered data and drew a conclusion based on their results. The final step was to display their findings and make a presentation to the judges describing not only what their process and findings were, but answer the judges questions about what they learned from it.

Students eagerly awaited the judges’ arrival at their display, so they could present their project. Each student gave their presentation in front of a team of two judges who scored the projects not only on design and methodology, but on the interview that was conducted with the student. “The diversity and quality of the projects was impressive; the students gave insightful answers to our questions showing their enthusiasm for their experiment,” stated Marc.

Parents and community members were also impressed with the quality of this year’s projects. One of the most popular experiments of the evening was the “Watermelon vs Rubber Bands”. Set up in a small kid’s pool to contain the mess, rubber bands were added one at a time to the middle of a small watermelon to see how much it could take before it was smashed by the pressure. Students and parents congregated around the pool to watch the progress, as they kept their distance just in case the watermelon exploded all over. The little watermelon held its own and stood up to the rubber bands, after more than an hour and over 300 rubber bands it still had not been smashed. Don’t worry though for those of you who enjoy a gooey mess at your science fair, there was no shortage of fluids oozing out of volcanoes and the other various liquid reactions that bubbled up and out into containers.

A highlight of the fair for many in attendance was the “Science Guy” presentation by Mr. DJ Crawford. With foaming fluid reactions flowing out of beakers to the dry ice bubbles dropping down out of a tube, the students were enthusiastically participating in science fun! Educators hope that the experience at the science fair will help students grasp how scientists and engineers approach problems and that perhaps they will consider a career in the field. It is never too early to start planning your project for next year. We hope to see you at the Science Fair in 2015.

The winners of the 2014 Clatskanie Science Fair:

Marc Farmer presents the first place blue ribbon to Brooke Hamilton and Henry Hunt.

High School Division:

  1. Brooke Hamilton & Henry Hunt- Subliminal Messages
  2. Cassi White- Effects of Water Filtration on Different Populations of Fish
  3. Brandon Haines- Color Changing Milk Best Model/ Demo- no entrants

Middle School Division:

  1. Kees Tjaarda: Preservation in Ice
  2. Macy Simmons- Is 17 the Most Random Number?
  3. Brian Points- Invasive Species Best Model/ Demonstration : Eliza Laney- Volcanic Eruption

Elementary School Division:

  1. Kade Tjaarda- Which Household Cleaner is Most Effective Against Germs?
  2. Jack Boothe- Basketball Bounce
  3. Lilly Boothe- What’s Boiling?
    Best Model/Demonstration: Grace Tallman- Cellphone Microscope
Mr. DJ Crawford gave an entertaining and interactive science presentation
Judges ask questions and score projects.