By SANDY WOJCIK
Daily American Correspondent
5:42 PM EDT, May 12, 2013
The Windber Elementary School students have participated in a science fair every year for the past 11 years. Each year, teacher Debra McKenzie said she thinks she has seen the most outstanding projects, only to be proven wrong the next year.
"The projects each year are more advanced but still hands on. They are not using the computer to do their projects, which they are allowed to do," McKenzie said.
She gave an example of a fourth grade student who set up night cameras to see wildlife.
"He had a number of albums filled with pictures. That is the kind of projects we are seeing. Yes, he had help to do the photos but he put the project together," she said.
The parents and families are invited to see the science fair each year, which helps to give the students a sense of accomplishment, added McKenzie.
"The students are getting different ideas each year. There are very few projects that are the same, from the animal photos to a mouse that ran through a maze," she said.
McKenzie said the school has not tracked students to see if the fair provided an incentive for students to enter the science field.
"That may be a project in itself," she laughed.
Cassidy Betcher did major research for her project, finding out how much sugar is actually in many of the popular drinks.
"I thought it would be fun and interesting to see how much sugar is actually in drinks and was actually surprised," she explained. She found out a giant 44 oz fountain drink had 38 teaspoons. "That was a lot."
Betcher said it took a couple days to do the project and she did have a little help from her mother in finding out the sugar content of various drinks because some sites had four grams of sugar is in a teaspoon while others said five or six. After learning how much, four, she put the sugar in each of the drinks in a plastic bag to display on her project board.
Another project by Baylee Wojcik, examined what age group had the best memory. She read a chapter from a book and then asked family members in private, questions about what was read.
"Surprisingly it was the parents who had the best memory," said Wojcik. "I thought it was going to be the kids since they were still in school, but it was actually the parents."
Olivia Chappie worked on finding out what melts the fastest in a cup of hot chocolate without stirring, mini marshmallows, peeps or regular marshmallows.
"It proved my hypostases that the peeps would melt the fastest," she said.
Riley Hanley and Trinity Krause worked on a project together which was allowed.
"We worked on a project to see why there is more static in the winter than in the summer," Hanley said. The girls rubbed balloons on their hair and on sweaters to see how long they would stick because of static electricity.
"We did the same thing in a steamy bathroom, which would make the air like it would be in the summer," she said.
They found out it had to do with low humidity in the winter months.
Kobe Charney wanted to make things float. He used a hair dryer to see what item would stay in the air.
"I found out it is not the weight by the shape. I had a matchbox car whistle that would not float, it just fell off," Charney said.
When he used balls that were the same weight, they stayed in the air indefinitely.