Tri-City Prep Hosts Science Fair for Local Elementary School Students

By Kelcie Kruse

On Friday, March 1st, 2013, families from around Northern Arizona amassed at Tri-City for the annual K-8 science fair. Doctor Halvorson has been involved in the fair for nearly forty years. When she taught elementary school she entered her students in the fair. Since then she has progressed to judging and now hosting the fair at Tri-City, with the help of some exuberant science students.

The fair itself lasted nearly eleven hours, beginning early in the morning for judging and running to the evening Awards Ceremony. The two hundred projects were set up in the gym by eight for judging to commence until noon. While judges from across the state reviewed the contestants, the students from Science Honors weren’t stationary; they even did some judging of their own.  

“Students Choice” projects were chosen by the students to receive awards at the ceremony that evening. Among the volunteers were Grant DeYoung, Eric Schulze, Leah McGuire, and later Leah McMillan and Kelcie Kruse. Near the end of searching through catapults and lava lamps, DeYoung, Schulze, and McMillan kept the gymnasium, and parents, under control while McGuire and Kruse assembled the list of statistics in the main office, assisting Mrs. Milliken and Mrs. Halvorson along the way. After hours of work the list was finally posted on the doors, and the public viewing began.

While parents and students alike viewed the projects of their peers, the TCP community was preparing for the awards assembly to be held at five o’clock. Students, including McMillan, Kruse, and Keri Prince, were monitoring the projects to ensure the little ones didn’t get too rough. While there were scattered incidents with the rowing equipment, the viewing went off without a hitch, and Rachel Winters popped in for clean-up duty.

At five o’clock, the Awards Ceremony began with the leadership of Mrs. Milliken. Immediately, Mr. Kaplan came on stage to show the kids just what science can do. He put dry ice in a large rimmed bowl with water, then smoothed over the rim of the bowl with a soap-soaked string, making the gas emitted form a great bubble. In his next experiment, he chose some volunteers from the audience to make some blue liquid turn a yellow-red color, just like the Biology students do every year. Finally, he took a five gallon container, with a small opening at the top, and put some alcohol in it. He moved that around for a moment, causing a gas to form, and  then set it on the table and lit the top on fire. The sound of the whooshing fire could be heard from the back of the auditorium, to the great awe of many second graders.

The Awards Ceremony continued with Winters helping Mrs. Milliken hand out awards and a periodic raffle announced by McGuire and Emily Andreasky. At the end of the day there were winners and some less fortunate, but the successful day left a great mark in the children’s view of science and the school’s reputation.

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