SCIENCE FAIR: From clean water to candy, CHMS students test theories

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, April 12, 2017

CHMS eighth-grader Madison Walker knows more about rock candy that most people will ever know. She “experimented” with rock candy that had been sweeten with non-dietetic cane syrup and with dietetic sweeteners. She presented the results of all her findings about rock candy at the Science Fair at the school on Monday.

If you want your potted plants to grow faster, give them an aspirin.

If you want to drink the purest water, you might want to drink from the tap. And, if you want to have fun and learn a lot about scientific facts, experiment.

The gymnasium at Charles Henderson Middle School was a-buzz with excitement Monday as 53students in Amanda Challancin’s eighth-grade advanced science class presented their Science Fair projects to their classmates and to their fellow students.

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Kevin Park won first place honors in the 2017 CHMS Science Fair. JaQuasia Williams took second place and Jeremiah Jackson, third. Honorable mention went to Gracie Sneed and Emma Earles.

Challancin congratulated the winners and all of the students for their hard work and dedication to their projects.

“Students learn more from this one project and remember it longer than most anything I could teach them in the classroom,” Challancin said. “This is a major science project in which the students learn about a specific scientific concept while learning organizational, research and social skills. These science fair projects give the students valuable hands-on learning experience.”

The CHMS Science Fair is different from many science fairs in that it’s interactive, Challancin said.

The students give one-minute presentations to the other classes that visit the science fair. They also give a presentation to their teacher and for a grade.

The students are required to do a controlled experiment and follow the procedures of the scientific method. They state a hypothesis and explain how they tested their hypothesis with an experiment and display the results in the form of a table, chart or graph.

Victoria Stephens drew puzzled looks for other students with her experiment “How Pure is Your H2O?

“I tested several different brands of bottled water and I learned that water from the faucet is actually cleaner than any of the brands I tested,” she said.

Milton Armstrong also was interested in drinking water. However, he wanted to know what kind of drinking vessel kept the water cool longer.

“I put water of the same temperature in four different containers – a plastic cup, a glass container, a paper cup and a Styrofoam cup – for the same amount of time,” he said. “The water in the Styrofoam stayed much cooler because it contains polystyrene and the others don’t. The water in the glass got warm faster.”

Challancin said many of the students planned in advance and worked hard. They learned valuable lessons. Those who procrastinated also learned valuable lessons. Challancin expressed appreciation to the volunteer parents and the administration for their support.

“I want them to be recognized as well as the students,” she said.

“I’m very appreciative that I can do this for my students.”