HomeMedford NewsSt. Mary of the Lakes School hosts annual science fair

St. Mary of the Lakes School hosts annual science fair

Students from kindergarten to eighth-grade showcased their projects on Jan. 30

St. Mary of the Lakes School hosted its annual science fair on Jan. 30, where family members and friends were welcomed into the school to check out the projects from students of all ages, ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade.

Kim Martin, coordinator of the event, has been involved in the science fair for the past 12 years — this year joined by co-coordinator Maryanne Scheffold, along with assistance from MaryJo Evola and Jenn Pirrotta.

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Unique to this year’s science fair, students in sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade accelerated science and math classes were required to participate, with the rest of the projects remaining voluntary.

Kara Pley, seventh- and eighth-grade accelerated science teacher, said the students were required to do research to develop an in-depth plan prior to beginning their projects. This means they had to identify independent, dependent and controlled variables, and they also had to provide separate written sections with their projects, including a hypothesis, materials list, procedure, observation, data and conclusion.

In addition, students had to follow the guidelines for the Coriell science fair, a South Jersey-wide science fair, as a means to encourage them to enter the fair coming up in March.

Martin said the Coriell science fair showcases projects from students up to 12th grade, giving younger students from St. Mary’s an eye-opening experience to view the work of older students in the area.

Martin hopes St. Mary’s science fair encourages students to explore their own talents and to see that science is everywhere — not just in the classroom.

“What is really the most rewarding thing here is to see the look on their faces when they feel so proud that they did this,” Martin said. “It’s so completely, 100 percent, to see the look on their face when they feel so proud of themselves. Each one of these kids has a different gift, and this gives them an opportunity to shine and they feel amazing.”

Fourth-grade student Lorenzo Evola developed a replica of a trebuchet, a machine used in medieval times to hurl projectiles at castles. This trebuchet combines the launching capabilities of a catapult and a sling, allowing it to throw large objects at high speeds.

Lorenzo used pennies and rubber balls as counterweight, so when it is raised there is a great deal of potential energy. This energy changes to kinetic energy as the counterweight is released, allowing the projectile (in this case, a tinfoil ball) to be released.

The science fair not only allows scientific interests to be explored, but also allows those interested in art to get involved.

Each year there are art contests for the cover of the information pamphlet given to attendees, with two winners being selected, one from kindergarten through fourth grade, and one from fifth through eighth grade. This year’s winners were first-grader Lilly Milone and eighth-grader Abby Wright.

Overall, the science fair gives students a platform to present their experiments and interests, and Martin thanked the team of parents she works with to make it all possible.

“I am grateful to be in an environment where there are so many other parents that feel this is as important as it is,” Martin said. “The opportunity to work with other parents for a common goal. We’re all here to bring something amazing to the school.”


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