Area students participate in ZED Science Fair
Fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students from the area were at Triton High School recently to participate in the annual Zumbro Education District (ZED) Science fair.
One-hundred-ten projects were entered in the fair this year, according to Becky Remmele, special projects coordinator for the Student Enrichment programs in the district. ZED is a multi-purpose cooperative serving approximately 9,500 students in Blooming Prairie, Byron, Hayfield, Kasson-Mantorville, Stewartville, and Triton School Districts.
While some of the schools involved may have had their own district science fairs, Remmele said, the ZED fair acts like a regional science fair. Community volunteers judge the displays but they do not go any further into state or national competitions.
The students come up with the idea for a science-related project, develop a hypothesis, plan a way to test their hypothesis, and prepare a report on the result of their experiment. They then explain their project to judges who may also ask them questions.
Several of the projects at last Friday’s fair involved the student and their dogs, including one investigating what colors dogs prefer. Jenavieve Hepner of Stewartville wondered if dogs preferred certain colors or if they could even see colors as she had heard they were color blind. She tested her hypothesis on a large group of dogs, including her own pug George, using colored paper and colored tennis balls, all with treats on top. Her results showed that some dogs did seem to prefer a certain color and some dogs didn’t care one way or another.
Caroline Maher, a sixth-grader in Blooming Prairie wanted to know what took dye better, Shetland wool locks or Shetland wool yarn. She thought the answer was that the yarn took the dye better and her experiment showed that she was right.
She chose the experiment because her family has sheep although they are Icelandic, not Shetland. She chose the Shetland, she explained, because of the time of year when different breeds of sheep are sheared.
Ava Meyer, a fourth-grader at Kasson-Mantorville, wanted to know more about the connection between smell and taste. She discovered that yes they are connected and if one cannot smell they cannot taste.
Camdyn Phillips, a fifth-grader at Triton knew he wanted a project involving light and taped D batteries together and using the batteries, alligator clips and pencil lead was able to make the pencil lead create a flame.
For Logan Boysen-Fuller, a Hayfield fifth-grader ice was the topic. He wanted to know what substance would best prevent ice from melting. He thought it would be baking soda but found out that the ice he put flour on took the longest to melt.
Josie Meyer, a fourth-grader in Stewartville, thought it would be interesting to compare how long it would take Skittles to dissolve in different liquids. She tested water, Sprite, vinegar, milk, and bleach and found that water worked the fasted.
The event included three separate sessions. The students were divided into three groups with all schools represented in each group.
During one of the sessions their projects were judged. The other two sessions were educational ones with naturalists from the Oxbow Nature Center in Byron.
Megan Long from Oxbow talked about raptors, and brought along a screech owl named Dorito.
Clarissa Schrooten discussed animal classifications and brought along a snake and a salamander.