Which brand of chocolate chip cookies has the most chocolate chips per cookie?
Which brand of battery lasts the longest?
How do turtles find their way back home?
Which breakfast cereal has the most iron?
Those are some of the questions students at Mountain View Elementary School sought to answer with their science fair projects. Some are questions that their parents may have wondered about as they pushed their carts through the grocery store. Others sprang from the students’ innate curiosity to answer questions about the things they love.
Third-grader Starlett loves rainbows and wanted to see if she could create a rainbow indoors. She did and demonstrated to the judges how she was able to use a prism as a light source for rainbows.
“I love science! It teaches me new things,” Starlett gushed as she talked about conducting her experiment.
Like Starlett, fifth-grader Zayne gravitated to an experiment that included one of his favorite subjects—turtles.
“My partner and I both love turtles. So, we researched turtle ideas.”
They decided that they wanted to learn how turtles find their way home.
“We learned that turtles have a built-in compass,” Zayne explained. “That was also the most surprising thing that we learned.”
This wasn’t Zayne’s first science fair. Last time his goal was to use his experiment to explain the science behind optical illusions.
“I think it is important for kids to have science fairs because they can learn a lot more about science, and they can also have fun while they are doing it,” Zayne added. “They can learn to like science [more].”
Zayne enjoyed learning from his classmates experiments too, especially the one that explored the best foods to help wake you up in the morning.
Some of the experiments really wowed the judges.
“I really like to see things explode. So, I really liked the projects where they shake up different sodas and put Mentos in them and watch them explode,” explained Dr. Charlie Farmer, a Mountain View science fair judge and a resident physician with WellStar.
He had so much fun as a judge last year that he came back to Mountain View to hear the kids explain their projects and the innovation that went into them. After talking to the students, he was impressed with how much they had learned and how much fun they had along the way.
One of the experiments that stood out to him tried to find an association between someone’s eye color and the things the person likes. For example, someone with blue eyes liking to be around blue water.
Most of all, the judge was struck by all the Mountain View kids’ enthusiasm for learning.