Hillsboro Elementary School fourth graders had a science fair Thursday afternoon, and there was baking soda and vinegar, but not in the form of a volcano.
Reece Hefley, Ella Jost, and Ellie Noble carefully measured out baking soda and vinegar to see if they would react differently when mixed in different quantities, rather than simply demonstrating that they react.
Their project and others were designed to focus on the scientific method. Using the scientific method involves developing a hypothesis — a testable, educated guess — then designing and performing a repeatable experiment to test that hypothesis. Finally, the results of the experiment are used to revise or discard the starting hypothesis.
Grayson Ratzlaff, Nate Hein, and Filow Cruz used marbles and sand to test factors that affect the formation of meteorite craters on the moon.
“We had lots of different questions about space and wanted to know how craters were made,” Grayson said.
They thought the size and speed of meteorites would affect the size of craters. To test that hypothesis, they first dropped, then threw, marbles of different sizes into sand and charted the size of craters created.
They found that larger marbles created wider craters in the sand than smaller marbles. They also found that throwing a marble created a wider and deeper crater than dropping it.
The science fair wasn’t just a project for the fourth graders. Tabor College student Rachel Alberti is a student-teacher at HES this semester, and she needed a project to complete her degree in elementary education. She said she wanted to do something hands-on with the students, so she decided on the science fair.
“These kids did great,” she said. “It was a lot of fun.”