fifth-grader Matthew Ng recently incorporated his love of swimming into a prize-winning science project. On March 10, Ng and other grade school science students in the displayed their talents publicly at at the Clayton Elementary Science Celebration.
Participation in the fair was voluntary. Students explored whatever branch of science they chose and in whatever way their imagination took them. Students whose projects placed in the top 15 from each school will compete in May in the Greater St. Louis Science Fair at Queeny Park in St. Louis.
Ng was among the top 15 finishers at Glenridge.
“I’m amazed that I’m going,” Ng said about advancing. “It’s wonderful.”
Like many swimmers, Ng uses a drag swimsuit. Doing so creates resistance when he’s in the water and helps him build strength. His project demonstrated how his drag in the water increased when he wore the drag trunks. For the project, Ng took photos of swimsuits to illustrate the difference between drag and non-drag suits. He also wrote a narrative about the photos.
Glenridge science teacher Brendan Kearney said competing in science fairs engages students’ families and continues the lessons in the classroom.
“This is something which instills a love for science,” Kearney said on the importance of the fair. “It helps reinforce what we’re doing in the classroom. It’s also a good way for families to connect outside of school.”
Borna Bianati, a fourth-grader at , also placed in the top 15 at his school to advance to the regional fair at Queeny Park. Bianati measured the acidic and vitamin C concentration of various types of orange juice—homemade, freshly squeezed, non-concentrate and concentrate—by measuring those properties over a period of time. The fourth grader recorded the results and photos from his experiment online.
Robbie Arechederra, also a fourth-grader at Captain, measured the microbes in his house. He placed petri dishes in three different places in his house and measured the microbes 24 hours later. Microbe colonies were visible to the naked eye, Archederra said.
Science runs in his family.
“My parents are scientists, and we were curious as to which area had the most microbes,” he said.
Some of the winners designed experiments using items commonly found at home or in stores, or by using information gathered online.
Captain fourth-grader Christopher Beverely studied the color pattern of calico cats from information he found in books. He filed a report online about his study, which included the chromosome makeup of various types of cats.
Jesus Madrazo, a fifth-grader, developed a project showing how taste buds communicate with the brain. He and others tasted mixtures of water—water and sugar, water and vinegar, and water and salt—and then recorded the results online.
Captain fifth-grader Sydney Tennill tested manufacturers' claims about the strength of their respective fishing lines. She tied hooks to the lines to lift a bar, a bucket and other items.
“We found out the holding strength was over what they said,” she said. “Around 132 percent of what was advertised.”
Third-grader Madelyn Schroeder measured friction in her driveway using objects such as a kickball, baseball and football. She prepared a report on the results for the fair.
Jackson Perlut and Nicholas Walsh developed a project together. The two built paper airplanes, measured which went farthest and recorded the results.
Kindergartener Ayla Lutzeler; first-graders Trey Perlut, Issac Levine, Odilon Monroe, Andres Madrazo and Scott McCary; second-graders Toby Zaidman, Kaia Mills-Lee, Paige Boeger and Evan Kappas; and third-grader Leo Thomas also placed in the top 15 for Captain and will compete at Queeny Park.