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More than 400 take part in area elementary science fairs

Mary Diedrich, a 6th grader, from Woodland shows other students her project. She tested which paper was strongest when wet by dropping pennies on them.1 / 2
Science fair judge Tom Ries talks to Carlos 6th graders Ryan Forester (left) and Tyler Burgess (right) about their project, which examined which brand of microwave popcorn leaves the most unpopped kernals.2 / 2

Approximately 405 elementary students exhibited projects at three elementary science fairs, sponsored by School District 206.

The fairs, held in mid-November at Lincoln (LES), Woodland (WES) and Voyager (VES) elementary schools in Alexandria, were organized by School District 206 Quest program coordinator Dave Harstad. Garfield (GES), Miltona (MES) and Carlos (CES) elementary schools also participated.

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The event was open to students in grades 5 and 6 as well as 4th graders in the Quest program for high potential students.

The projects needed to be experimental in nature and include controlled variables. This complements the state standard of “Inquiry” thinking that is built into District 206 teaching standards.

Some of the investigative topics included the most effective way to clean fruit, a project on what species of wood can hold the most weight and the effect of tire pressure on the performance of bike tires.

A total of 290 experimental projects, including some partner projects, were represented.

Volunteer judges, directed by District 206 volunteer coordinator Ruth Turner, consisted primarily of people with knowledge in the fields of science and engineering, including former science teachers, dentists, doctors, nurses, medical lab professionals, engineers and architects.

Projects were judged twice, and the scores were averaged. Based on project scores, every student participating received a green, red or blue ribbon.

The local Kiwanis provided plaques for the top scoring projects at each school and grade level.


4th grade: Tyler Bright, VES; Matt Wieberdink, LES; Evan Schroeder, LES; Isaac Carns, WES.

5th grade: Ethan Johnson, VES; Whitly Netland, LES; Aubrey Kosters, WES; Landon Schabel, GES; Ian Richards, MES; Alexandra Balcome, CES.

6th grade: Amanda Bittmann, VES; Andrew Revering, LES; Joria Downing, WES; Matthew Carlsen, GES; Megan Townsend, MES; Will Burgess, CES.