By Dawn McCormick
On Wednesday, March 11, at the invitation of Barriere Elementary, several people from the community came together to judge the annual Barriere Elementary School Science Fair.
The judges were made up of community leaders, retired science teachers and local volunteers who were given the task of judging over 80 Science Fair entries from kindergarten through grade 7.
The judges were asked to meet in the morning at the library in the school, and upon arrival were given coffee and scones to enjoy while the principal Gordon Cumming gave the judges an overview of the judging forms, how to score each entry and how to interview the students.
Exhibits and experiments ranged from creating electricity using a bicycle and a battery; strength of bridges or structures using spaghetti, popsicle sticks, or Legos; growing crystals from substances like sugar and salt; how to produce biogases from different substances as well as flammable and non-flammable uses of those biogas produced; and conductivity of electricity using potatoes; just to name a few.
Judging took place in the gymnasium, and was based on originality of the experiment, content, how well organized the presentation was, the science journal or log kept by the student as the experiment progressed, oral presentation by the students and their knowledge of the material.
Each entry had a presentation board that showed the hypothesis; details of the experiment such as materials used, how the experiment progressed and safety procedures; what the conclusions were; and how the student arrived at that conclusion.
The judges viewed and rated each entry before breaking for lunch. Following the luncheon individual students were called to the gym to give an oral presentation of their experiment or exhibit. Most of the students had a prepared presentation and at the conclusion, the judges questioned the students on such things as how they arrived at the decision to do that particular experiment, and how they felt their experiment would benefit others.
Once all of the official judging, interviews and class viewings were completed, an open house for the public to view the Science Fair was held from 3 – 5 p.m.
The judging resulted in 15 of the entries being selected to go on to the Regional Science Fair competition in Kamloops. The students who go on to the next level will be allowed to take their score sheets home, and using the judge’s comments and scoring, will have the opportunity to make changes to their experiment, refine their logs, and polish their oral presentation for a month before submitting their experiment for the Regional judging in Kamloops.
If a student’s entry scores high enough at the regional Science Fair Competition, they may be selected to proceed on to the Provincial Science Fair Competition later in the year.