Students try to answer real-life questions in Davis science fair

Feb 23 2012 - 10:59pm

Images

Kincaid Garrett, 12, of Colt Elementary School, sets up his project on radiant barrier versus fiberglass insulation at the Davis School District science fair at the Davis Conference Center in Layton on Wednesday. (ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner)
Kelsee Todd, 12, of Bluff Ridge Elementary School, explains her experiment with different types of plant food to a judge at the Davis School District science fair at the Davis Conference Center in Layton on Wednesday. (ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner)
Students await judging at the Davis School District science fair at the Davis Conference Center in Layton on Wednesday. (ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner)
Garrett Vance, 11, of Bluff Ridge Elementary School, explains his experiment with food coloring and different types of milk to judge Tanner Garrett at the Davis School District science fair at the Davis Conference Center in Layton on Wednesday. (ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner)
Kincaid Garrett, 12, of Colt Elementary School, sets up his project on radiant barrier versus fiberglass insulation at the Davis School District science fair at the Davis Conference Center in Layton on Wednesday. (ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner)
Kelsee Todd, 12, of Bluff Ridge Elementary School, explains her experiment with different types of plant food to a judge at the Davis School District science fair at the Davis Conference Center in Layton on Wednesday. (ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner)
Students await judging at the Davis School District science fair at the Davis Conference Center in Layton on Wednesday. (ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner)
Garrett Vance, 11, of Bluff Ridge Elementary School, explains his experiment with food coloring and different types of milk to judge Tanner Garrett at the Davis School District science fair at the Davis Conference Center in Layton on Wednesday. (ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner)

LAYTON -- Selected students enjoyed finding science in everyday aspects of their lives and presenting their results at Davis School District's science fair Wednesday.

One of the most-viewed projects on display in the Davis Conference Center explored why animals cross the road in certain spots, sometimes leading to their deaths.

The project, referred to as the "road kill" project by numerous onlookers, was the work of North Layton Junior High eighth-grader Rosalyn Carlisi. It started when she began noticing how many dead animals lined U.S. 89 near her home.

She began researching why animals would risk their lives to cross the street.

"It was really gross to see the dead animals, but it was also an eye-opening project, because you never really consider how our being here affects them," Rosalyn said.

In a 41-day period, checking the 13-mile section of road several times a day, Rosalyn pinpointed eight "hot spots" where the animals seemed to cross most often. Using her results, she hopes to have warning signs for drivers placed at those locations.

One of the main goals of the fair is to encourage students to see how science affects their daily lives, said Rita Stevenson, the district's junior division supervisor for the fair.

"We want to get the kids excited about science and get them thinking beyond just what's taught in the classroom," she said.

That is exactly what Snow Horse Elementary sixth-grader Kate Stuart had in mind when she wondered how to perfectly bake cookies.

After experimenting with four types of pans, she discovered that aluminum was the best choice for her perfect cookie.

"I had fun, because I like baking, and it was a lot more fun than just learning about it at school," Kate said. "I had no idea there was so much science to baking until this project."

Similarly, Boulton Elementary sixth-grader Jared Young remembered that his family stores glow sticks for emergencies. He wondered if storing and even using the sticks in different temperatures affected their longevity.

He tested the glow sticks in cold locations, at room temperature and in hot water for eight hours.

He learned that the glow stick in hot water glowed brightly at first, but then faded quickly. The glow stick in cold water burned longer, but also faded.

To his surprise, he discovered the glow stick in room-temperature water continued glowing brightly after eight hours.

"It was really fun, because it was easy to use something I already knew a little bit about, and I like doing experiments and gathering information," Jared said.

Seeing the displays reminded Stevenson how bright students are today.

"These are the kids that are the future of the world, and the things these kids will do in the next 20 years will change the world as we know it," she said.

The kids were excited to participate and honored to represent their schools, especially the students from South Clearfield Elementary, where Spencer Rumsey teaches fourth grade.

"Our students were excited to be here, because it is out of the ordinary and a good experience for them," said Rumsey, who was judging other students at the event.

He was judging for the second consecutive year and said he enjoys it.

"It gives the students a lot of experience talking with people and making a presentation, which gives them a lot of self-confidence."

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