Bemidji Middle School Hosts 33rd Annual Science Fair
For the 33rd year in a row, Bemidji Middle Schoolers put on their thinking caps, wrote a hypothesis and conducted experiments, all in the name of science.
“There’s a variety of categories that students can enter their projects in, ranging from behavioral social sciences to chemistry to physics to – just a whole variety of – botany,” says Mark Studer, one of over 70 volunteer judges for this year’s event.
This year’s science fair had over 550 projects entered. Some of the kids started working on their experiments as early as November.
Calla Gieser, the overall physics winner, says about her project, “I tested different shingles and one piece of tin to find out which one would stay cooler and which one would stay warmer in temperature, and I found out the lighter-colored shingles stayed cooler because they reflect more heat back at the sun and the darker ones absorb more making it warm around, so that could kind of help with global warming a bit, too.”
Alex Schaefer, the plant science winner, says, “My project is called ‘Grow Baby Grow,’ and what I did was put caffeine in different forms in each of the grasses that I grew.”
The science fair’s overall winner was Madeline Larson. She won with her project called “Efficiency Of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electrolytes.”
“For my project, I built a hydrogen generator apparatus where it will convert water into hydrogen and oxygen, and what we were testing is if the production rate of hydrogen and CCs per minute would change due to the electrolytes,” says Larson.
The kids can get a lot from participating in the science fair.
Gieser says, “I think it’s really cool because I get to show off what I did to everyone and I’m proud of it and I get asked a lot of questions about it.”
“I think they get the idea of having to methodically take a look at a particular idea or problem and working through and doing some research on it to understand the background of whatever it is that they’re doing,” adds Studer.
The kids also learn invaluable skills that will help them out throughout the rest of their lives.
“My biggest takeaway from this project is, like, there like so much to apply engineering to. You can apply engineering to basically anything,” says Larson.
40 kids from today’s science fair will next go on to compete at the regional science fair. That event will be held on Friday the 22nd at Bemidji State University.