A 'Fair' Bit of Science at Enka Middle
A 'Fair' Bit of Science at Enka Middle
Posted on 01/05/2018
Enka Middle School eighth-grader Hailey Brown checks a plant, which is part of her science project.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

‘Tis the season for tri-fold poster boards at Enka Middle School, where students gave presentations on Friday for the annual eight-grade science fair.

The school’s media center was packed with projects ranging from wind turbines to memory tools to the physics of rollercoasters. As many as 30 students could head to the regional competition at Western Carolina University in February.

“It’s amazing what kids can do when they think outside the box,” said eighth-grade science teacher Sean Dare, who oversaw judging for the science fair. “Students get to use the Scientific Method and Project Design process to explore a topic that interests them and learn more about it.”

Students Mike Berrett and Bryce Ingle tested different wind turbine designs and were surprised to learn that three blades work better than six.

“We thought that the six-blade would produce more volts, but our hypothesis was wrong,” Ingle said. “The three-blade produced more voltage.”

“It’s probably because the three-blade doesn’t take as long to pick up speed,” Berrett said. “More blades is more weight.”

Amaya Hayes and Hailey Brown wanted to figure out how to recycle pencil shavings from their classrooms, so they added them to potting soil to test whether they could grow cucumber plants. It turned out the pots with pencil shavings saw better growth than plain soil.

“We think it’s because there’s a lot of carbon in pencil shavings, and plants need carbon,” Hayes said.

These students and their discoveries show the value of using projects to teach students STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) concepts, Dare said.

“This gets them immersed interactively,” he said. “It makes education relevant to the real world.”

STEM education is one of BCS Superintendent Dr. Tony Baldwin’s top four priorities. To learn more, click here.
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