Science takes center stage in Botkins

BOTKINS — How do different fertilizers affect plant growth?

How does popcorn pop?

Can lemons power a light bulb? (yes, by the way).

What do deer see?

How are fossils formed?

Why don’t ducks get wet?

If anyone’s asked these questions or questioned many of life’s other great mysteries, then the Botkins Middle School gymnasium was the place to be Thursday night as the school hosted its bi-annual science fair.

The science fair is mandatory for all students in fourth through sixth grades, and optional for first through third grade. In all, 112 participated in the higher grades and 29 in the lower grades.

Elementary Principal Gina Rogers said the learning experience was evident for the students because they have to come up with the ideas on their own for their projects.

“We find that when students generate their own questions, they have more ownership,” Rogers said. “The students did a great job learning about their projects. Many students learned what it was like when an experiment did not work in front of a judge the first time. They had to explain why it may have went wrong.”

A 12-judge, community panel was selected to judge all the entries. The judges were impressed with the students’ ability to present their project scientifically, as well as their public speaking skills.

“The judges all commented on the students’ and their abilities to present their projects,” Rogers said. “There was many good comments on their public speaking skills also.”

In front of the judges, the students had to state a hypothesis and then test their hypothesis with their experiments using the complete scientific process.Students set up their projects between 6 and 7 p.m. Wednesday night, and performed their experiments for the judges between 8:30 and 11 a.m. during school today.

An open house was held for the public between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday and kids enjoyed a large turnout.

The top three projects were awarded in each grade.