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Science students do more than present information at state science fair
By Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 4:03 AM
Kamryn Kullot and Logan Little participated in the state science fair April 7 through April 9. They and their fellow students, not shown, Sawyer Haagenson, Bennett Gathje and Justin Viss, did well at the fair. SUBMITTED PHOTO
They stated their science and got the awesome solutions.
"It was awesome to take five kids to state and see them compete," said Chatfield High School science instructor Nora Gathje, speaking of the Minnesota State Science and Engineering Fair held April 7 through April 9 in Bloomington, Minn. Her students, Kamryn Kullot, Logan Little, Sawyer Haagenson, Bennett Gathje and Justin Viss competed, sharing their hypotheses and posing solutions to scientific questions.
"There were about 400 projects total, about 88 of them high school papers," Gathje shared. "There were also 45 middle school papers at the competition. The students got to present their projects and learn a ton from seeing what other kids do at the state level."
The learning experience didn't stop with touring the fair to evaluate the interesting tenets of other students' projects, however.
"Besides presenting their projects, they heard guest speakers from different industries, had 'mad science' activities, the Bakken Museum brought activities for the kids, there was a student dance and 3M brought its 'Visiting Wizards' science demonstrations," she added.
Gathje is proud of her students and their scientific curiosity, that they are so engaged by science that their projects earned recognition from judges at the fair.
"There were awards given by the military, the U.S. government, corporations and science organizations," noted Gathje.
Justin Viss won the Honorable Mention STEM Communicator Award for his paper.
Bennett Gathje brought home some notable awards, among them one for the top seventh grade paper. He also earned the U.S. Metric Association Award, the Broadcom MASTERS Award for the top 10 percent of middle school projects, the U.S. Naval Science Certificate and Medallion, the WSB Engineering Excellence Award and the 3M Innovation Award.
The teacher already has students considering their 2013-2014 science fair projects and what the possibilities might be if the community is as generous in providing learning opportunities then as it is now.
"We'd like to thank the Chatfield Booster Club for helping defray the costs of sending students," Gathje said. "The kids are excited about next year, and several, including Logan, Kamryn and Bennett, have ideas about what they'd like to do."
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