Annual science fair begins

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Annandale students in advanced science classes have been working on their science fair projects since early November, in preparation for the school wide science fair, and if granted the opportunity, the regional and statewide fairs. AHS plans to host their school wide science fair after winter break sometime in January.

“My favorite part of the science fair was putting everything together, for example, the trifold. Bringing all the stuff we worked on together was enjoyable, however,” sophomore and IB Chemistry 1 student Jin Ho Yoo-Rodriguez “the part I hated was researching in general. I didn’t like looking up stuff. I didn’t want to write out stuff.”

The science fair is an annual project that students nationwide take part in. The process begins with a question. Then the student researches and contemplates how their project could impact the world of science and improve it. They form a hypothesis and after teacher approval, they begin their experiment. Once the data has been collected, students create a trifold display that explains what their project was and the data they accumulated. Once the trifold is completed, teachers from the science department judge and select the best projects to move on.

“I’ve never done [science fair] before, so this was my first year doing it. My teacher didn’t really give us any information on what we were supposed to do, so I kind of just winged it.”, Freshman Macy Best said. “I liked making up our own ideas and seeing how it worked… There wasn’t like a set topic really that we were supposed to do anything. It’s just like ‘pick anything’”

The main goal of the science fair, IB Chemistry 1 teacher Nancy Kaegi said, is to “reinforce [student’s] understanding of the scientific method and how to do research. It gives them a chance to explore topics that they’re interested in, that might not be covered in class and it also helps them develop presentation skills because they present to their class.”

The first selection starts from within each subject. For example, on December 9th, IB chemistry 1 teachers, Issac Boakye and Nancy Kaegi, held their respective class science fairs after school. Teachers picked 15 out of the many science fair projects from the IB chemistry students to move onto the school wide science fair. From there, 22 projects will be selected and move onto the regional science fair.

“We look for multiple trials, quantitative data, they have to have collected data that’s something they measured. They had to have analyzed the data, so they’ve calculated the averages, percent errors maybe,” Kaegi said, “They have to have graphs where they are presenting the data in a form that is very visual. They have to include the data table on the backboard, so that you can see what they’ve done.”