Banfield students test theory of fun through science fair

Published 9:10 am Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Shaking towers and moldy bread.

If there was a question then Banfield Elementary School students sought to answer them, testing out theories as part of the school’s science fair Wednesday afternoon.

Throughout the day, Banfield students had a chance to examine the science projects that were created as part of the annual science fair. Third and fourth grade students learned about the scientific method and implemented what they were taught in class and constructed their own, self-directed science projects that puts the scientific method to the test.

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Projects ranged from a football launchers to finding out how much sugar specific brands of soda carried. Each project was unique in the conception and used to test out a student’s hypothesis.

Principal Jeff Roland explained that students had an option of submitting their projects in a competitive category, or non-competitive category.

Those who placed and received a purple or blue ribbon, would be able to compete at the regional science fair. Entries were judged by a select number of people from IJ Holton Intermediate School and The Hormel Institute.

“It’s all about fun and that’s the bottom line,” Roland said. “Events like this is nice to connect parents and the community to what students are doing academically. There’s so much benefit from this. Students learn how to work together and take on roles when working in groups.”

Banfield Elementary School staff and students observe a wide variety of projects that were displayed during their annual science fair on Wednesday.

Austin Public Schools partnered with the Science Fair Mentoring Project to help prevent barriers or obstacles that prevent students from successfully participating in the science fair. Since 2014, the initiative helped more than 180 Austin students take part in the science fair.

Banfield was open to the community to check out the various science projects. Family members, teachers and students wandered throughout the gymnasium as the third and fourth-graders proudly answered questions pertaining to their projects.

Fourth grade student Ashlyn Strampe, worked on a project by herself that tested her hypothesis on which soap brands expanded the most under heat. Having an interest in the sciences (mostly biology), Strampe felt right at home creating a science project to experiment and to test out certain theories.

“Science is my favorite subject,” Strampe said. “We put soap in the microwave and I wanted to see if it would get puffy. I’m not surprised on what happened.”

Strampe’s mother, Susan, expressed that her daughter was always interested in science. By working on a science fair project, she saw Ashlyn’s interest in science grow.

“I think she worked hard and I think she did good,” Susan said. “I’m proud of her wanting to do it by herself. I helped her cut the squares of soap, but she really enjoyed making her own project. I think this fair is a good way of showing other types of sciences.”