'Running on Water' takes top honors at science fair

The St. Isidore School small gymnasium was alive with science experiments last week as students in grades 6-8 displayed their projects at the annual fair.

The grand prize was awarded to Trey Schwartz and Michael Wong for their project, "Running on Water."

Michael said he was proud of what the two of them accomplished.

"I hope that our project will be of use one day in making a hydrogen-powered car that will replace the cars we use today," he said.

"I put forth my best effort for my closing science fair at St. isidore," said Trey. "Ultimately all the hard work paid off after my partner and I were awarded the grand prize."

Each year students choose a topic in the fall. Then they write a research paper, and include a hypothesis, observations and an analysis of the three required trials. They also keep a procedure manual with their observations.

Finally the experiments are completed with a write-up of a conclusion and error analysis. Each student presents his or her project on a large presentation board at the science fair.

This year's winners were selected by 46 volunteer judges.

"Many judges are currently working in their trained fields and some are retired physicians, nurses, engineers, biologists, geologists, environmentalists and math and science teachers," said Kerry Schafer, who teaches seventh-grade science plus is science chairman at the school. "A large number of our judges come from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, too."

This year there were 164 science projects, so each judge reviewed six to eight projects. The winners were announced that evening. For eighth-graders it is a special event since it is their last Science Fair at St. Isidore.

Top eighth-grade winners were as follows:

• First Place: Victoria Reget and Keara Starnes for "To Glue or Not to Glue"; Justin Bongi and Josh Tan for "A Rush of Energy"

• Second Place: Adam Lewis and Zachary Wallace for "Tornado Alley"; John Doyle for "The Solar Highway"

• Third Place: Christian Casias and Michael Schwarz for "Paintball Mania"; Brett Ingelsby and Bryan Joyce for "Temperature Troubles"

"When my partner and I found out that we had gotten first place, we were astonished and excited," said Justin Bongi. "It felt like our hard work had paid off, as we had spent hours building and perfecting our river turbine."

"The feeling of fulfillment that comes from winning a prize is amazing, especially after all of the hard work my partner and I put into the creation of our project," stated Josh Tan.

The students enjoyed conducting the experiments as much as they liked winning.

"It was really cool being able to shoot paintballs and make a project out of it. I had fun, and learned a lot at the same time," said Michael Schwarz.

"It was a shock to have placed third in our Science Fair. It was so unexpected because there were so many great projects to select from," said Christian Casias.

--Sharon Leone contributed to this story.


Like this comment
Posted by Courtney Corda
a resident of Blackhawk
on Feb 11, 2010 at 8:03 am

Nice to see a positive story about local education. Thank you Danville Weekly for giving kids public recognition and encouragement for their science education achievements! I hope you will cover the Tri-Valley Science and Engineering Fair and some of the other elementary school science fairs as well, such as the one at Green Valley and the big Monte Vista Science Alliance fair in April.

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