Fair Showcases Scientific Research Projects

Independent Research Projects Provide Authentic Scientific Experience
Posted on 01/31/2019
Student Science Fair

Forty students qualified for the Illinois Junior Academy of Science regional competition after receiving gold awards at the Northbrook Junior High School Science Fair on Saturday, Jan. 26.

The science fair showcases the semester-long projects created by students who are enrolled in the Independent Science Research class. A total of 55 students participated.

Mr. Mark Frye, Mrs. Pam Mendelson and Mrs. Amber Paull work with each student to come up with an experiment based on his or her interests, then guide each student through the process.

“Designing an experiment that is completely of their own choosing -- thinking about how to control it, what materials they are going to use, how many trials they are going to do -- is really the authentic work of a scientist,” Mr. Frye said.

Each student made a presentation to a panel of three judges at the science fair. The judges evaluate the oral presentation, the written work and scientific method of the experiments based on an Illinois Junior Academy of Science rubric.

“I’ve read science fiction stories where they needed heat and energy from black holes and I wanted to see if it was real,” said Shon Ginzburg, who used a math formula to black hole spin and hawking radiation.

Daniel Kramer tested copper to see if it was anti-microbial.

“Stainless steel has been shown not to have anti-microbial properties and also is a breeding ground for health-care-associated infections. If copper was used to replace it, that would see a large decrease in infections,” he said.

Alicia Pace tested whether meditation can affect academic performance. She showed students a slide of information, then one group talked and socialized before the test and the other group meditated. Her findings showed meditation did improve performance.

Aidan Meek tested which type of battery lasts the longest of alkaline, rechargeable and lithium in identical flashlights. ”It’s kind of funny because the cheapest batteries, alkaline, lasted the longest.”

“You need to be willing to put in the time to have a good project,” said Maddie Gallinson, who tested whether middle school students could interpret graphs that present misleading information.

Check out this year’s video to learn more. Congratulations to all the students who participated! Forty students received Gold Awards and will advance to the Illinois Junior Academy of Science Regional competition March 9 a Niles North High School.