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Cottonwood Heights Journal

First Science Fair at Canyon View Elementary a Huge Success

Mar 09, 2016 11:56AM ● By Bryan Scott

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

Cottonwood - Holladay - Fourth- and fifth-grade students at Canyon View Elementary showed off what they learned about the scientific method during the school’s first science fair. Held on Jan. 29, the students explained their projects to other students in younger grades and to visiting parents. 

Jennifer Davis is the science, technology, engineering and math director, or STEM, at both Canyon View Elementary and Granite Elementary. She splits her time every other week between the two schools. She taught the students about the scientific method, including making observations, forming a hypothesis and gathering data from various experiments.

“I wanted to ease them into it so when they get to the sixth grade and it’s more serious, they have a better understanding of the scientific method,” Davis said. 

Davis gave the students a packet to help explain the scientific method. In that packet were several different ideas of science projects they could do; however, students were able to do any project they chose. Many students found their project ideas on the Internet. After discussing their projects with Davis, the students in pairs of two or three conducted the experiments at home. 

This is Canyon View Elementary’s first year doing a science fair. Davis got the idea from seeing other schools doing similar events, though all schools do their own science fair a little bit differently.

“This is our first year we’ve done it, so we’re just kind of winging it,” Davis said. 

Out of the dozens of projects, each of the six teachers will pick their top three choices of best project. Those projects will then be presented to the principal, BJ Weller. He will then pick the top four projects that went on to compete in the district science fair in February. 

Davis said she hoped students understood the process of science after they were done with their experience.

“I hope they have a better understanding of the scientific method when it gets more serious in a few years,” Davis said. 

Davis also wanted to acknowledge and thank the teachers of the fifth- and fourth-grade classes who helped reinforce the concepts outside of Davis’ class.

11-year-old Sean McCloy did his science project on whether or not the Nintendo Wii can teach someone how to play a sport or improve their performance of a sport. McCloy explained a Nintendo Wii is different than other video games because it uses motion caption software to manipulate the game.

“You’re moving around in order to move the character,” he said.

McCloy’s hypothesis was the Nintendo Wii would improve a person’s ability to play a sport. 

McCloy tested his experiment by having participants play a sport and recording how well they did, such as amount of time used to skate a certain distance or how many basketballs they could shoot in a specific amount of time. He then had the participants play the same sport on the Nintendo Wii. Afterward, the participants went back and played the real sport again, using the same parameters as the first round. 

What McCloy found was playing the Nintendo Wii doesn’t help with playing a sport and in some cases, it actually makes performances worse. 

McCloy believes while the Nintendo Wii does require movement in order to play, it does not require the same muscle movement in order to play.

“With the Wii, you’re only using your hands -- one hand to move and one hand on the controller,” McCloy said. “Sports require you to move your feet.”

Ten-year-old Kamryn Adams did her science project on what materials would make ice melt the fastest out of salt, sand, sugar or leaving the ice alone. Her hypothesis of salt ended up being correct.

“We put the ice cubes in containers and checked on them every 30 minutes,” Adams said. 

The thing she learned most from her experiment is sand doesn’t melt the ice at all.

“They usually put sand on the road for traction,” Adams said.