Students compete at school science fair

Published 7:00 am Saturday, January 17, 2015

JUDGING SCIENCE: Judges examine a student's science experiment at the science fair held at Picayune Junior High School.

JUDGING SCIENCE: Science fair judges, retired teacher Paula Spiers and engineer Lance Spiers, examine a student’s  experiment at the science fair held at Picayune Junior High School on Friday. Photo by Ashley Collins.

Students showed off their scientific prowess at this year’s science fair held at Picayune Junior High School.

A plethora of science experiments created by many of the school’s seventh and eighth-graders took over the cafeteria on Friday.

The projects fell under various categories, including Earth, space and environmental science; chemistry; zoology; behavioral and social science; engineering, computer and math; botany; medicine and health; biochemistry; and microbiology.

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Eighth grade science teacher Tarva Labostrie said the fair is a positive experience for students.

“We try to encourage students to think critically,” Labostrie said.

This year, the students who placed first, second, and third at the fair will get the opportunity to compete in the regionals, which will be held at Hattiesburg. If students win at regionals, they get the opportunity to compete in the state competition. From there students can move on to nationals, where students can earn money and scholarships, Labostrie said.

During the fair, judges examined every experiment. The judges included coach and former teacher Eddie Young, retired teacher Paula Spiers, Boeing engineer Lance Spiers, and Westside Elementary teacher Kathy Smith.

Smith said she’s judged the fair for two years now, and is always looking for the best experiments.

“I look for originality, and neatness, since I’m a teacher. And I also look to see, was there an actual experiment done?” Smith said. She added that she can tell when students put a lot of effort into an experiment, and when students don’t actually conduct a true experiment.

“Some students miss the key points, like not using a control or variables,” Smith said.

Many students participated in the fair, including a group of eighth-graders, Laté Fortner, Clinisha Guyton, and Amiah McGill. They participated together in an experiment, which fell under the category of behavioral and social science.

While it was Guyton’s and McGill’s first time participating in the fair, Friday was Fortner’s second time.

“I participated this year to show how smoking could damage your lungs,” Fortner said about their project, which studied whether smokers or non-smokers could breathe better.

After the judges reviewed every experiment, awards for first, second and third place in each category were announced.

For zoology, first place went to Matthew Nix and Marquis Roberts; second place went to Madison Sova; and third place went to Martha Corona, McKenna May and Caitlin Reynolds.

For physics, first place went to Robert Shoemake, Tyler Lauga, and Carson Craft; second place went to Kayla Moore; and third place went to Kylie Wise and Allie Dillard.

For botany, first place went to Gracie Rawls, Kyle Stockstill, and Sierra Delancey.

For environmental science, first place went to Justin Whitfield.

For chemistry, first place went to Jackie Ortega; second place went to Jeslynn Reed; and third place went to Lilly Beth Nail, Milli Stewart, and Sarah Williams.

For medicine and health, first place went to Aliyah Morrison; second place went to Darrell Hall, Arianna Friedl, and Tanner Simmons.

For microbiology, first place went to Cameron Thomas; second place went to Destiny Chauppette; and third place went to Ethan Cortez.

For behavioral and social science, first place went to Shay Dreenan, Gabby Moore, and Matty Moore; second place went to Annabelle Wise; and third place went to Amiah McGill, Clinisha Guyton and Laté Fortner.

Last but not least, for engineering, first place went to Joshua Broadway and Jacob Strickland; second place went to Michelle Boland; third place went to Jody Smith.