The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 16, 2010

Eighth Grade Science Fair a hit

On April 7 the Carlisle School library was turned into a festive exhibition hall for the first annual Eighth Grade Science Fair. A large and appreciative crowd of parents, Carlisle residents, students and teachers wandered through the room which was crammed with tables holding attractive tri-fold project displays. Eighth- grade students eagerly explained their projects to each visitor, gaining a shiny sticker every time they engaged a guest. The students covered a variety of subjects such as the effect of video games on the brain, how vitamins affect plant growth, the physics of shooting a basketball, the chemistry of chocolate, and the relationship between cricket chirps and the temperature. Ten students have volunteered to represent Carlisle School at the Northeast Regional Middle School Science & Engineering Fair on May 8 at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

Colorful, interesting displays

Some students looking for project ideas used the website Science Buddies ( to generate topics, explained eighth-grade science teacher Kathryn Marsh, while other students investigated their own science questions. The students were required to follow the same general format for their science experiments, and each step was reviewed as they worked, which resulted in projects that had a good amount of depth. Project displays were colorful and included introductions, abstracts, procedures, results, background research, variables (independent and dependent)and conclusions. Although the fair was not a competition, students applied for and received honors such as “Most Creative Title,” “Alternative Energy,” “Relevant Problem World Hunger,” or “Project Least Fun To Clean Up After.”

Review by judges

One of the most interesting aspects of the fair was the independent “judges” who walked around, listened to the presentations and gave feedback to the students. The judges reviewed the students’ scientific approaches, their knowledge of the project areas, the thoroughness of the projects, the written records, the ingenuity and creativity of the projects, and the visual presentations. Students and judges engaged in meaningful conversations about the projects and the judges shared their knowledge of science, math and technology with the students. Judges included Jean Colbert, Mark Hersey, Walter Hickman, Phil Hinds, Ellen Kriegel, Theresa Lober, Anthony Mariano Jr., Anthony Mariano Sr., William Mills, Francine Rayson, David Ringheiser, Ira Sabran, Vyshi Suntharalingam, Bert Willard, and Carlisle teachers Brad Cranston, Nannette Johnson, Liz Perry, Rob Quaden and Jim Thompson.

Students to enter Regional Fair

Marsh said she is thrilled that ten students volunteered for the Northeast Regional Middle School Science & Engineering Fair (see box). Up to 40 projects from the regional state fair will be selected to represent the region in the Massachusetts Middle School Science State Fair on June 5 at Worcester Technical High School. ∆

Projects entered in regional science fair

Student Project Title

Anagha Chandra Orange You Glad Citrus Fruits Have Vitamin C?

Whitney Cook Even The Cookie Monster Likes Variety

Beth Davis Lemon Juice & Vinegar on Apples

Meg Doucette The Race to Decompose

Kate Goodale

Madi Jolly,

Laura Paterson The Chemistry of Chocolate

Chasidy Jaquith Sugar You Are Drinking in Soda

Amanda Li The Mpemba Effect: Fact or Fiction

Bobby Li Growing Plants Without Soil

Carolyn Lu The Effect of the Presence of Water Vapor

on Microwave Efficiency

Tom Moor Cellular Automata

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito