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Noxon students put science projects to the test

by TRACY SCOTT Valley Press
| March 15, 2023 12:00 AM

On a cold snowy day, Noxon’s Elementary's kindergarten through sixth-grade classes celebrated their first annual science, technology, engineering, art and math fair, better known as “STEAM.”

This year’s event was the result of the hard work of Vannessa Ramsey, the elementary science teacher who envisioned a renewed effort to make those subjects fun for the students.

Elementary students filled the gym with their science displays ranging from how to make slime to building programable robots. A dinosaur decorated cake was also on display, and a handcrafted missis gadget box.

Judges spent the morning examining each display and interviewing the creators. The exhibits were judged on the following types of projects and were age appropriate: art, technology, engineering and scientific investigations.

Six judges were on hand to review grade specific projects. David Pafford, Dave Whitesell, Megan Olson, Nick Posselt, Eric Oldenburg, Heather Mercer, Mary Chaboya and Lisa Taylor.

At the closing of the interviews, with their assigned students, each judge tabulated their scores and the winners were announced that evening so parents could attend.

The winners of the K-3 Art category were:

First place, Kilah Brown for her project called "How does baking soda make cake rise?"

Second place went to Laylana Mercer for horse sketch comparing.

Third place was awarded to Annabelle Torrey for her project, "Glow Yoda."

Winners of the K-3 Scientific Investigations category were:

First place Lena Oldenburg with, "What makes ice melt."

Second place went to Autumn Abramoff for "Slime Chemistry."

Third place was awarded to Mrs. Swanson’s kindergarten class, Jace Chambers, Connor Erwin, Jasxon Fitchett, Erastus Mease, Emma Mercer, Connor Nelson, Dominic Nelson, McKenzie Norton, Kyla Posselt, Dalton Torrey, Garhelt Vivano with there project called "How does light affect different materials?"

Winners of the K-3 Engineering category were:

First place Miles Mercer and Garrett Schwier.

Second place went to Mrs. Oldenburg’s first grade class, Gus Dulaney, Beck Jensen, Kloe Kair, Brendan Mercer, Eloise Oldenburg, Sadie Peterson, Brooklyn Posselt and Vance Zeretzke for their project called "Communicating with light and sound."

Winners of the K-3 Technology category were:

First place Tig Torrey and Daphne Gunn for "Coding with scratch animal animation."

Second place went to Lainey Erwin and Aubriana Christensen, for "Coding a dance party."

Third place was taken by Giada Viviano, for "Coding a dance party."

Winners for the grades 4-6 Art Category were:

First place Aspen Webster and Lilly Sherrill for their project called "The science of sourdough."

Second place went to Danni Hill for "The outer space project."

Third place was awarded to Bradley Alexander for his project called "Bendy sketch."

Winners for the grades 4-6 Scientific Investigations category were:

First place Kaylie Mercer for "The Grossness of bathrooms."

Second place went to Breyah Torrey for "Cookies, eggs or no eggs?"

No third place was awarded.

Winners of the grades 4-6 Engineering category were First place Tracker Scarlett for his project called "Cork Opener."

Second place was awarded to Brielle MacArthur for "Reverse engineering an antique receipt machine."

Third place went to Neveah Christensen and Ava Jensen for the "Missis gadget box."

Winners of the grades 4-6 Technology category were:

First place went to Abel Jensen, Micah Hartman and Dominic, for "Coding an EV3 Lego minstorm robot." s

Second place winners were Mikeal Kair, Asher Hartman and Vance Brown for "Coding an EV3 Lego minstorm robot."

Third place was awarded to Judah Dulaney for "Coding a sphero robot to roll through a maze."

Judge Dave Pafford, a 20-plus year veteran of the Marine Corps and currently serving as the Noxon School Board President said, “I have served on science fairs in the past in other areas and missed the opportunity and when Vannessa Ramsey announced this one, it was an automatic response for me and came out here to help.”

“The kindergarteners were the most impressive in the individual knowledge that they had about a single project.”

Kennedy Brown, a seventh-grader at Noxon, was on hand to photograph the event. She was instrumental in restarting the elementary school yearbook, taking hours out of both home time and school time to bring the yearbook back.

Vannessa Ramsey, the elementary science teacher and organizer of the event said, “First, when students have ownership of their projects, there is a higher level of engagement in their learning. It becomes more personal and meaningful as students are more invested in their project.”

Ramsey continued, "These STEAM projects integrate many cross-curricular concepts and skills. Students are learning to calculate, to analyze data and to use mathematics within a real-world experience. Students engage in scientific and engineering processes, learning problem solving skills, critical thinking and creativity. I envision continuing our STEAM showcase in the future and plan to expand to middle school next year. The goal is to increase our technology and engineering projects with expanded computer coding and LEGO Robotics.”

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Students Kloe Kair, Brooklyn Posselt and Eloise Oldenburg show off their projects to judge and Noxon Superintendent Dave Whitesell. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)

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Abel Jensen controls his robot at the Noxon science fair. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)

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Emma Mercer discusses her science project with judge Dave Pafford. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)

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Noxon School Board Chair Dave Pafford judges projects at the Noxon science fair. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)

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A display at the Noxon science fair. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)

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