Westminster Anticipates Annual 8th Grade Science Fair


Sallie Dotson

Vinegar volcanoes, molecule models, and solar systems—the annual Science Fair is coming up on December 1st. The entire 8th Grade is participating, which includes finding and answering a problem, running experiments, writing conclusions, and bundling it all up into one project to show the school. However, not all 8th graders are doing their projects alone; some of them prefer to work in a group of two or three.

Last year’s Science Fair took place virtually as a result of COVID 19. And the year before, pre-COVID, the Science Fair was in-person and held in the same way as years prior. However, this year’s protocols are still undetermined. Virtual or in-person or something in between, it’ll be a big event for 8th graders regardless.

Ultimately, the Science Fair is a competitive event, and winning projects seem to take inspiration from real-world problems. “The [project] last year that won so many [awards] was done by three young ladies, who did [their project on] masks,” says Mrs. Sumner, an 8th Grade science teacher. “They did a very good job determining which ones protect people the best.”

In addition to grabbing topics, 8th-grade students seem to be grabbing partners in crime. “I’m most excited to work with my friends to find a new concept that could help something, eventually,” says 8th grader Ashley Adams. 8th grader Leighton Harris says she is “doing something with my partner cause I’m good friends with her.”

7th graders are divided in their view of the Science Fair. New 7th graders have just as much, if not more to look forward to since this is their first and last opportunity to enjoy the Science Fair as an audience member. “I’m looking forward to seeing all the different ideas,” says new 7th grader Sarah Hargrove. “Of course, I’ve never experienced it before, so I’m excited to see how that’ll work. I wonder what kind of questions people will ask, what kind of models people will have, that kind of stuff.” And returning students in 7th grade view the Science Fair with a little bit of nostalgia. “I’m excited to see what ideas that people come up with and to see what they can do to help out,” says 7th grader George Trotter. “I remember seeing some of them last year, but I didn’t really know that that was the science fair, and I didn’t really pay attention to them.”

Finally, curiosity is building for 6th graders, who have never seen the Science Fair until this year. “I don’t know much about it,” says 6th-grade student Catherine Wilkie. “But, I’m honestly just thinking it’ll be really fun to see.”