Science fair prepares students for state exams

Alexander "Lex" Wheelock, 7, gives a last look at the car motor he made for his science project, being held by his father, Erik, before moving it to the library to display during the science fair at Ella Schorlemmer Elementary School on Jan. 31.
  • 2013 Schorlemmer

  • Life Science, Best of Show

    William Wright, third grade

    Caroline Elliott, fourth grade

    Riley Pruski, fifth grade

    First place

    Joaquin Marroquin, third grade

    Kevin Rankins-Perkins, fourth grade

    Ross Simnacher, fifth grade

    2nd place

    Koultre Perry, Third Grade

    Kadie Dueser, Fourth ...

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  • 2013 Schorlemmer

    Life Science, Best of Show

    William Wright, third grade

    Caroline Elliott, fourth grade

    Riley Pruski, fifth grade

    First place

    Joaquin Marroquin, third grade

    Kevin Rankins-Perkins, fourth grade

    Ross Simnacher, fifth grade

    2nd place

    Koultre Perry, Third Grade

    Kadie Dueser, Fourth Grade

    Jordan Council, Fifth Grade

    3rd place

    Amber Dohman, Third Grade

    Isabel Seilkop, Fourth Grade

    Karolina Perez Cancel, Fifth Grade

    Consumer Science, Best of Show

    Andrew Burgos, third grade

    Grace Heyde, fourth grade

    Beau Henry, fifth grade

    First place

    Embrie Whisenhunt, third grade

    Mathew Greer, fourth grade

    Evans Saenz, fifth grade

    2nd place

    Dakota Schott, Third Grade

    Kelsi Darilek, Fourth Grade

    Teagan Wertman, Fifth Grade

    3rd place

    Nathaniel Perez, Third Grade

    Jenin Ajrami, Fourth Grade

    Rama Hamoudah, Fifth Grade

    Earth Science, Best of Show

    Jaydn Rangel, third grade

    Emily Bastian, fourth grade

    Vanessa Gonzales, fifth grade

    First place

    Liliana Farias, third grade

    Madison Nelson, fourth grade

    Allen Rojas, fifth grade

    2nd place

    Gabriel Adams, Third Grade

    Madison Long, Fourth Grade

    Haleigh De Los Santos, Fifth Grade

    3rd place

    Sandra Johnson, Third Grade

    Brian Guerra, Fourth Grade

    The fifth grade winner in the Earth Science category was withheld by the student's guardian.

    Physical Science, Best of Show

    Lauren Berryhill, third grade

    Griff Harrell, fourth grade

    Keaton Sides, fifth grade

    First place

    Gavin Wartsbaugh, third grade

    Grayson Maples, fourth grade

    Jude Stehling, fifth grade

    2nd place

    Abram Hinijosa, Third Grade

    Rami Ajrami, Fourth Grade

    Jay Orosco, Fifth Grade

    3rd place

    Nate Wooters, Third Grade

    Damion Marin, Fourth Grade

    Will McBrayer, Fifth Grade

    Models/Collections, Best of Show

    Kaeli White, second grade

    Hailey Despain, second grade

    Ms. Hermes, kindergarten

    Ms. Yur, kindergarten

    First place

    Timothy Medrano, second grade

    Max Saenz, second grade

    Ms. Hernandez, kindergarten

    Ms. Miller, kindergarten

    2nd place

    Laney Morales, Second Grade

    Ricardo Johnson, Second Grade

    Ms. Kim, Kindergarten

    Ms. Spanihel, Kindergarten

    3rd place

    Lex Wheelock, Second Grade

    Josiah Garcia, Second Grade

    Ms. Kubala, Kindergarten

    SOURCE: VISD

  • NOTE: Other campuses across the Victoria school district held their own science fairs this winter on varying dates. To get information on the winners, contact the campus of your choosing at their front offices.

Rows of tri-fold poster boards created a labyrinth within Schorlemmer Elementary School's gymnasium Thursday afternoon.

Parents and students waded through clay figurines, petri dishes and detailed explanations behind each project's scientific method.

Michelle Sturm, an Ella Schorlemmer Elementary School learning facilitator, said the fair was the second annual campuswide science competition since the school's opening in 2009.

Judges from the community stepped forward to help decide which students would be walking away with the top-ranking award certificate for Best of Show.

"We had about 12 judges this year," Sturm said. "No parents are allowed to judge. We had some of the administrative staff, parents of faculty members and retired teachers volunteer."

Each presentation received marks for correctly applying the scientific method to their projects by posing a question and then answering it, organization and comprehension.

Fifth-grade science teacher Katherine Schuelke, who has taught for the past 27 years, said she offers examples of projects past to help students brainstorm their entries.

"Sometimes kids absolutely can't figure out what to do," Schuelke said. "All we can provide is guidance."

In fifth grade, Schuelke said she encourages students to create a project to coincide with the grade-level's upcoming science-based STAAR examination.

Fourth-grader Amar Hamasagar, 8, created an electric buzzer using a soda can, rubber band and nail file.

By pushing down on a mouse trap, Amar sent an electric current through a red wire, creating a gameshow buzzer sound.

"It was hard to put together because I had trouble choosing the right bolt," Amar said. "I want to study electrical engineering when I grow up."

Other students posed questions such as, "Why endangered species are endangered?" and put the 5-second germ rule to the test.

Third-grader Andrew Burgos, 9, received a Best of Show award for ranking three brands of batteries by their performance and price.

"It's been fun. It took a lot of hard work," Andrew said. "It took me 11 hours to finish it."

Andrew hypothesized that the cheapest battery, Rayovac, would come out victorious, but the Duracell battery he tested came out on top.

In the Life Science competition, third-grader William Wright, 9, took the Best of Show award by seeing which type of fruit would rot the worst in a 25-day time period.

William and his mother Laura Wright ate the surviving green apple and grapefruit which endured the longest throughout the experiment.

"At first, I thought the fruit with the thickest skin, the banana, was going to win," William said. "Next, I want to see what sort of plant will grow the largest by using Dr. Pepper instead of water."

The upcoming exam will have 18 questions on the physical sciences, 14 questions on organisms and environments and 12 questions on earth and space.

To teach students about physical sciences, the bulk subject of the STAAR exam's questions, the science teacher said she used stop-animation in her classroom to demonstrate the cycle between night and day.

"We just want to increase that love of science and that love of learning of maybe learning about things they didn't know before," the science teacher said.