Bourne Public Schools hosted a two-school science fair that included both middle school and high school students for the first time last Friday night in the middle school gymnasium.
The Bourne Middle School PTA coordinated the fair, which showcased 99 exhibits and had 195 registered students participating.
“The turnout was tremendous due to the support of the teachers and administrators,” said Belinda Rubinstein, a member of the middle school PTA who helped coordinate the fair.
“This is the first year that high school students participated. Next year we will strive to hold this fair before the high school-level state science competitions, but the format this year gave teachers and students more time and space to present projects and give their demonstrations,” Ms. Rubinstein said.
The exhibits ranged from projects like old-fashioned rocket science to modern printing technology. Eighth grader Nicholas R. Cassidy was able to do an exhibit with the 3-D printer that creates plastic models.
“I’ve never seen my son so patient in his whole life than when he is working with the 3-D printer. He comes home every day talking about it. It is so great when something excites them and entices them to learn. Each student learns in their own individual ways. This is a game changer for my son’s education,” Nicholas’s mother, Heidi L. Cassidy, said.
“We like explosions,” said 6th grade teammates Zachary Walters-DiMarzio, Shawn J. DiCarlo, and Foster E. Rubinstein. The trio chose a project based on the urban legend of adding Mentos candy to Coca-Cola to create an explosive conclusion.
After several messy attempts at creating their project, the trio researched some online science sources that used balloons over the Coke bottle that would show the explosion but contain the mess at the same time, and then compared the results when using Pop Rocks. The group’s parents and the custodians of BMS were very happy that they found this solution.
Other projects used live chickens, music, paint, Gummy Bears, eggs, ink, food coloring, wind, plastic, fruit, foil and biodegradables in their projects.
Some projects took days to come to a conclusion and some took up to three months or more to prepare.
Aaron R. Taft, crew commander for the Cape Cod Air Force Station, was a judge for the science fair and felt right at home.“We worked on our project for days and enjoyed every minute of it,” said self-described rocket scientists and middle school students Robert J. Palumbo, Jerry C. Curran and Nicholas E. Card.
“As crew commander I am the chief of standardization and evaluation. It is my job to evaluate the crews and I use a scorecard everyday just like this judging sheet. I am very impressed with the student’s creativity and knowledge. They definitely did their research and thoughtfully presented their hypotheses and conclusions,” Commander Taft said.
John W. Farrington, dean emeritus of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has judged local and regional science fairs in the past, but this was the first time he judged for Bourne schools.
“This fair was well-organized. It is very clear to me that this was a successful fair. I primarily looked for student enthusiasm, organization, and a grade-appropriate explanation of what they did. Not every kid goes on to be a scientist but that is okay,” Dr. Farrington said. “The hope is to instill curiosity and inquiry and an interest in science because these habits will serve them well no matter what they do.
“I was also particularly impressed to see the broad cross-section of people who came to judge. There was a nice representation of judges from the military on the Upper Cape,” Dr. Farrington added.
The PTA plans on having one more science fair this year for the elementary students and that will take place on Friday, May 30. The top project winners from last Friday’s fair will have a chance to present their experiments to the elementary students as a way to guide them and get them excited for their fair. The older students will also have a chance to be guest evaluators for the younger students.
Grade 5 Winners
- First place, Emma Busnengo and Kalyn Burgess, “Soda Density”
- Second place, Jacob Freefholm, Michael Doyle, Nicholas Santucci, Noah Robinson, “The Conductor Experiment”
- Third place, Amariah Ryan, “Rice Krispies Volcano.”
The top 10 projects for grades 6 to 8 will have the opportunity to move on to the state science fair competition for middle schools in April.
- Kati Redmond, 7th grade, “The Color that Alters Neuronal Firing”
- Foster Rubinstein, Zachary Walters-DiMarzio, Shawn DiCarlo, 6th grade, “Mentos vs Pop Rocks”
- Adam Dionne, 8th grade, “How Pressure Affects Problem Solving”
- Maggie Roberts and Mary Schmidt, 6th grade, “Super Chicks”
- Lily DuBerger and Sidney Buford, 7th grade, “What is My Eye Color?”
- Paige Joy, 7th grade, “Clean Green”
- Isabelle Stewart, 8th grade, “Color Your Memory”
- Joanne Goodman and Maddison LaFleur, 6th grade, “The Power of Citrus”
- Chris Darcy, Briahna Becker, Josh Rayty, 6th grade, “Potato Light Charger”
- Phoebe Medeiros, Lydia Rheinhardt, 6th grade, “Flower Power”
- Sophie Bass and Hannah Moreno, 6th grade, “Gummy Bears”
- Molly McCann, Nidhi Kumar, 6th grade, “OOBLECK”
- Kiera Pennucci, 8th grade, “What is the Point?”
First place, Chip Hatch and Connor DeSantis, 11th grade, “Electronic Magnetic Pulse Generator”
Second place, Jenna White and Shelby Fortune, 11th grade, “Convection with Cookies”
Third place, Ian Shepherdson, Tom Glinski and James Modic, 11th grade, “Refraction in Substances.”