Middle School Science Fair Sees Big Growth, Celebrates Big Wins

Des Moines Public Schools provides students with a wide variety of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) educational opportunities at all grade levels, and the results were on display at the annual Middle School Science Fair.

More than 175 students from nine DMPS middle schools participated in the event, held last night at the Science Center of Iowa. The science fair has grown more than 150% since it began four years ago, from 50 projects during its first year to 125 projects in 2012.

“Participation in the science fair provides our students with a unique opportunity to use the problem solving and critical thinking skills that are vital to 21st century careers. By using these skills in an authentic way, our students are able to go beyond the classroom to solve real world problems,” said Kimberly O’Donnell, DMPS science curriculum coordinator. “Des Moines Public Schools strives to be a leader in STEM education, and the success of our middle school science fair program is evidence that our students will be well prepared to succeed in a technology rich society.”

Students who placed first, second, or third in one of nine different categories earned medals and advance to the State of Iowa Science Fair held at Hilton Coliseum in Ames on March 30-31.

Those students are:

6th Grade Life Sciences
First – Ellie Konfrst – Which Age Group Can Walk the Farthest on A Straight Line While Dizzy? – Merrill
Second – Emma Hildebrandt – Money For Nothing – Merrill
Third -Maggie Dunham -Which Environment Grows Mold the Fastest? -Merrill 

6th Grade Physical Science
First – Intisar Becic – Dry Ice Experimentation -Merrill
Second – Maya Miller – Cell Phone Radiation Leakage – Merrill
Third – Seth Kallestad – Basketball Shots – Merrill

6th Grade Earth Science
First – Rabsa Naseer – Filtering Water – Merrill
Second – Elisabeth Bennink – Rooftop Gardens: Are They Cool? – Cowles Montessori

7th Grade Life Science
First – Anne Beeman – Does Music Affect Your Focus? – Merrill
Second – Jade Miller – The Broccoli Chef – Cowles Montessori
Third (tie) – Mary San Elias – Which Food Attracts the Most Insects? – Moulton
Third (tie) – Max Tensen, Daniel Edjang & Denzil Miller – Bacterial Colony Comparison – Meredith

7th Grade Physical Science
First – Matt Voss – The Bike Coaster – Merrill
Second – Aidan Palmer – What Pain Killer Dissolves Fasted in Simulated Stomach Acid? – Merrill
Third – Lauren Rouse – Orbeez – Brody

7th Grade Earth Science
First – Jacob Thompson – Falling Water – Merrill
Second – Chris Said – Cleaning of Water – Brody
Third – Patrick Caliguiri – Filtration of Water – Brody

8th Grade Life Science
First – Anson Tonelli – Fake vs. Real Smiles – Cowles Montessori
Second – Lorenzo Zenitsky – Feeding Rate of the Dark-Eyed Juncos – Cowles Montessori
Third – Makayla Senecaut – Are Fingerprints Inherited? – Weeks MS

8th Grade Physical Science
First – Yvonne San Elias – LED vs. Incandescents – Moulton
Second – Benny Nielson – Cool Shades – Merrill
Third – Christian Royston – Ultimate Launcher – Merrill MS

8th Grade Earth Science
First – Caylee Kofron – How Does Heat Affect Velocity? – Weeks

See photos from the Middle School Science Fair on our Flickr page or in the slide show below:


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