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Science, STEM shine at GH school

Krystle Wagner • Feb 1, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Families filled the hallways and gym at Ferry Elementary School and Voyager School on Wednesday evening.

From hands-on science projects to robots, students and their parents spent the evening learning during the Falcon Science and S.T.E.M. Fair.

More than 50 science projects were displayed, which more than doubles last year’s number of entries, said S.T.E.M. teacher Ian Overway.

The number of area businesses in the S.T.E.M. field also increased from past years. Businesses such as Donald Engineering Co., GHSP, the Air Zoo and Metal Works gave families the chance to see and learn more about their work and the tools they use.

Grand Haven High School’s F.I.R.S.T. Robotics team, the Buc’n’Gears, showed off a robot and spoke with families about their program.

Students voluntarily entered and submitted projects for the fair.

Third-grader Lola Barkdull’s interest in NASA led her to learn more about astronaut Mae Jemison. Since Barkdull, 9, planned to write a report about Jemison, she thought entering the science fair would also be an opportunity to showcase what she had learned. Through her research, Barkdull said she found it most interesting that Jemison orbited Earth 126 times.

First-grader Cate Zemaitis said she enjoyed seeing all of the projects, but her favorite was the “tornado in a bottle” station.

“They’re cool when you shake them,” she said.

Kindergartner Madeleine Kulikamp proudly stood behind her poster board as families learned about children’s projects. For her first time in the fair, Kulikamp, 6, studied how much salt it would take to make an egg float. She said she was surprised that it took only 3 tablespoons of salt because she predicted it would take 4 tablespoons.

Overall, Kulikamp said she thought the experience was “cool.”

The Donald Engineering Co. pneumatic pick-and-place machine captured the attention of many students and parents. The company’s Bryan Haveman said some students commented that they wanted one for their birthday. He said the students at the fair seemed interested in science and learning more.

As families passed Drake Green’s table, he asked them to venture a guess as to whether or not a napkin would get wet when placed in an upside-down cup and submerged in water. The second-grader demonstrated that air would keep the napkin dry, but the air would escape if the cup tipped.

The 7-year-old said his project was inspired by a book his class read.

“I really liked it,” Green said.

As families visited the booths, Overway thanked everyone — businesses, parents and GHHS National Honor Society students — for their help.

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