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Fifth-graders explore science theories at Horizon

MADISON – Eighty-five fifth-graders at Horizon Elementary School decided on a topic and then tested hypothesis for the recent science fair.

Students participated from Consuella Datcher and Wade Thaxton’s science classes. Gifted Specialist Beth Bero coordinated the science fair.

“Our objective in involving students in the science project process is to teach the Scientific Method in a real-world situation of the student’s choice,” Bero said.

Horizon’s fair adhered to guidelines of the International Science and Engineering Fair. Top projects advanced to the North Alabama Regional Science and Engineering Fair or NARSEF that the University of Alabama in Huntsville hosts. (

Students earning blue ribbons will advance to NARSEF. In addition, a judge from Huntsville Botanical Garden selected 11 projects for exhibit at “The Art of Sustainable Science.” (

Projects ranged from questions about marshmallows, cotton candy, bath bombs and hair dye:

* Will McGuire — “Radio Operation”

* Mark Allison — “Worming Away Waste”

* Cian Fidler — “Homemade Windshield De-Icer”

* Kamari Coleman — “The Way Colors React”

* Tera Jackson — “Made to Fade”

* Emily Tesseneer — “Bath Bomb Science”

* Alexander Fedoseyev” — “Thermal Conductivity of Metals”

* Alexia Hamilton — “On Your Mark, Get Set, Blow!”

* Duncan Baker — “Marshmallow Madness”

* Alex Dyer — “Air Cannons”

* Skylar Dunlap — “Sugar Crystallization”

* Evan Meier — “Cotton Candy Storage”

* Zac McGee — “Citrus Circuits”

* Joshua Wilhide — “Heating Magnets Up/Cooling Them Down”

* Jahmel Bivines — “How to Clean Up Oil Spills”

* Nirvana Rajbhandari — “Bridge Structures”

Students who earned “Art of Sustainable Science Winner” commendation were Mark Allison, Cian Fidler, Alexander Fedoseyev, Alex Dyer, Nirvana Rajbhandari, Caleb Netterville, Mark Boatwright, Robert Kil, Melody Anderson, Liam Cooper and Tatiana Moore.

In the “Honorable Mention” category, students who received the “Art of Sustainable Science Winner” award were Caleb Netterville, “Decompostion”; Mark Boatwright, “The Best Cup for Ice”; Robert Kil, “Hydroponics vs. Normal Soil”; Melody Anderson, “Turning Milk Into Plastic”; Liam Cooper, “Orange Power”; and Tatiana Moore, “Solar Heating.”

“In fifth grade, we aren’t trying for Nobel prizes,” Bero said. Students question, “What paper towel absorbs the most?,” “What fruit generates the most current?” and “What paper airplane design performs the best?”

“A science project is a chance for a student to choose what he/she wants to study,” Bero said. “We start teaching the process in August. Teachers work with students through January, when projects are due.”


Bero is certain that some students will pursue STEM careers. “Even if they don’t, they have the tools they need to make informed decisions about products to purchase.”

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