Photo courtesy of @cobbscience Twitter page
Nine NC students competed in the Cobb-Paulding Regional Science Fair held at Kennesaw Mountain High School, yielding one student who placed, on February 10.
“[The science fair] was set up a little differently this year, they decided to use judging circles. In the past, each student would have two or the judges come to see them for maybe 5 to 15 minutes and interview them about their project. The judging circles really worked out a lot better. Instead of placing each student individually, they would put 4 to 8 projects in a room together and the judges would spend around one and a half hours in the room and just have the students tell them about their project. It’s a little more informal. The students get to talk to the judges, but they also get to talk to each other and ask each other questions about their projects,” Magnet Biology teacher Grant McDurmon said.
From each middle and high school in the Cobb-Paulding area, only ten students could register. This year, solely Magnet 9th and 10th graders from NC participated. These students conducted their research projects in the Magnet Biology class they took as freshmen. The Magnet freshmen who participated included Ella Day, Hannah Hickey, Hannah Lee, Alainna Toombs, and Anna Leigh Toth. The Magnet sophomore participants consisted of Precious Ajiero, Maria Harar, Maddie Sullivan, and Katie Word.
Day won 2nd prize in the fair this year. She conducted an experiment on the effect of greywater on the growth of wild cabbage.
“I think there’s a lot of international significance currently with my project. Around the world, people are using greywater without filtration so [the project] shows the effects of it and how it could possibly harm people,” Day said.
The science fair offers a new learning experience and possible tangible rewards for students who attend. Each student who participated valued the experience they partook in, and most students looked forward to participating again in the future.
“It’s possible to win first prize at the science fair, and anyone who does win first prize potentially could go to the state science fair. So there’s kind of a track you can get on if you do really strong work where you have the potential to win some scholarship money or compete at the national level,” McDurmon said.