Science Fair winners receive awards

Young scientists from around the county honored for their creativity
Samantha Kilmer.JPG
Elena Houle.JPG
Anthony Becerra.JPG
Diana Tovar .JPG

More than 60 local schoolchildren and their families convened at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall in Hollister on March 21 for the San Benito Office of Education’s annual Science Fair, where students displayed projects on everything from the study of electronic magnets using paper clip to the whether fish get jet-lagged.

Students in fourth- through eighth-grade, (with one in the 10th grade), had their projects scored by judges, with the top three placers and honorable mention recognition handed out that evening.

Students demonstrated with charts and colorful graphics their hypothesis, research they conducted and the results of their findings.

“I gave them books to use for research and some of the students came up with their own questions, and the parents helped with questions, as well,” said fourth-grade teacher, Stephanie Castro from Ladd Lane School, relating how the young people determined the subject to study.

A first-place winner, Samantha Kilmer of Spring Grove School, said of her electromagnetic demonstration, “It was a fun project” as she stood in front of her display and pointed out the tools: a battery, coils, and paper clips. She showed the positive and negative polls of an electromagnet.

Elena Houle, of Aromas, a first-place winner with the hypothesis “Do fish get jetlagged?” said learned that, in fact, “fish do get jet lagged,” explaining that the circadian rhythm changes with the training of goldfish. “I covered each fish tank for 12 hours (at separate times), and then left the other one open.” She would allow the fish in the covered tank take two weeks to adjust to the surroundings and then change the environment again. “I learned that a normal sleep pattern of the fish can be learned when the circadian rhythm was changed.”

Anthony Becerra, a seventh-grader in Sacred Heart, took third place for his “Pop Goes the Geyser” experiment.

“The longer the tube length of a vent of a geyser, the more consistent it is to erupt than the shorter length. It’s a pretty unique story,” he said, noting Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful Geyser as an example.

Becerra showed his set-up with a longer tube and a shorter tube length, to give the results of his experiment.

Brandon Gatson of Accelerated Achievement Academy said he learned a lot from his experiment comparing blood pressure with two different liquids.

“I’ve learned that blood pressure changed slightly (upward) with apple juice than with milk,” he said. “I did a fasting and used a glucometer and a blood pressure test. I learned that it’s going to make me understand how to eat better. Too much sugar isn’t good for the body.”

Diane Tovar said of her project, “I like slime.” She researched which of four slime products works better.

“I learned that the slime with glitter works the best,” she said of the squishy toy popular with today’s youth.

Aromas School second-place winner Francisco Gonzalez’s project was brought close to home, with his discovery when comparing Aromas and Watsonville water.

Asking “What’s in your water?” he learned that the results with both sources are similar, but Aromas has harder water and tested higher for pesticides.

Other experiments included one by a cat lover who wondered if felines have a dominant paw, one exhibit that asked what tool would break a piñata faster, and one that tried to answer which candle would burn the longest?

Charles Oles coordinated the science fair and presided over the awards ceremony.

County Superintendent Krystal Lomanto said that “What makes a science fair such a great learning experience is that it involves so much more than science.”

Lomanto added that the community came forward to support the fair, with the following sponsors providing prizes: Mike and Allison Sicoli of Round Table Pizza, three VIP passes for free pizza, any size; Kim Underwood of Hazel Hawkins Hospital, $100; Allen Ritter of Hollister Lion’s Club, $100; Brent and Sue Redman of Brent Redmond Transportation, $100; Cheri Schmidt of California Mutual Insurance, $100; Jayne Stewart of Calvista Insurance, $100; Heritage Bank of Commerce $250; Tom Squeri of Graniterock, $250; Bob Tiffany of Tiffany Motor Company, $50; Casa De Fruta, a free train ride for every participant; and Premier Cinemas, free movie passes for every second- and third-place finisher.









BenitoLink Staff