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All’s “Fair” in Science

Satellite Students Share Science Research Stress

Satellite%27s+students+were+very+successful+at+last+weekend%27s+science+fair.+Photo+by+Cassidy+McKinnon
Satellite's students were very successful at last weekend's science fair. Photo by Cassidy McKinnon

Satellite's students were very successful at last weekend's science fair. Photo by Cassidy McKinnon

Satellite's students were very successful at last weekend's science fair. Photo by Cassidy McKinnon

Chelsea Basford

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As students come back to school from the very long and relaxing winter break consisting of no school and no homework, students involved with Science Research may not have been so successful in avoiding the campus. With the Science Fair looming in the background and rapidly approaching, many of the science research students attended school over break frantically working to collect final pieces of data and to wrap up the project which involves ensuring that their project is printed. All the projects must have been printed by Monday, January 30th, in preparation for the Fair on February 3rd and 4th, which took place at the Merritt Square Mall. To move on to the State Science Fair in Lakeland, one must place first in Regionals; to move on from state, one must place first or win best of show to compete in ISEF (the International Science and Engineering Fair). This is a stressful time for all students in science research having to juggle 6 other class homework loads and focusing time on the project.

Students all handle stressful times differently. Let’s take a look at how some of our students are affected and are preparing for this big event: Cassidy McKinnon, 10, has been preparing for the event this Friday and Saturday in multiple ways. “I have had to spend much more time than I want to at school finishing and perfecting my project. Ultimately it has limited my free time outside of school because of the time that I have been focusing on the project. On the weekends I often come in and work on my projects, usually on Sundays for a couple of hours in Mr. Scott’s room, and all I have been thinking about since we got off winter break is Science Fair. It’s very overwhelming, and I’m excited to be done with it this weekend. My project involves utilizing UV radiation to attempt to safely kill E. coli bacteria that grows on lettuce without killing or harming the lettuce itself, so it has been a lot of preparation and data collecting before I could finally finish up the project.”

Overall, the weeks before science fair affect all students about the same. Allison Smuk, 11, has also been spending a lot of time on the project these past couple of weeks. “ I have basically procrastinated the project itself until last Wednesday when I began my experimentation. So it has been very stressful time frantically trying to finalize my project and ensuring that the project was done and being printed by Monday the 30th.” Abbey Haval, 11, shares, “In the weeks before Science Fair, working on my project becomes all-consuming. Once I’ve finished testing there is always a lot of work to do, and the feeling that there’s not enough time to do it. I spend hours outside of school perfecting my board for fair and research paper, and practicing my presentation. In the end the stress is worth it, because I love studying the Mars Dust, and it’s always enriching to be able to discuss your project with experts.”

Stay tuned to see how everyone fairs out this weekend and hopefully students will advance to the next stage of Science Fair: State.

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All’s “Fair” in Science