HEBRON — The Hebron Academy Middle School recently presented its 20th annual science fair. The 31 students in grades 6-8 researched a scientific topic of interest, wrote a report and presented their findings complemented by a tri-fold poster. Many students created a 3-D model to simulate their topic of study, and some students conducted experiments and/or surveys during their research.

The annual science fair has been a spring tradition since the school began 20 years ago. Athletic Director Leslie Guenther was director of the middle school when it opened. She and science/language teacher Cynthia Reedy believed the idea of having the middle school students become an “expert” about something that they learned all on their own was very appealing. Guenther said, “The science fair has afforded students the opportunity to learn to do research (and yes, when we started it was from books!), to practice good writing skills, and to present orally to their peers and others — all very important skills.”

This year, the topics ranged from health topics (organic food, calories, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and more); to environmental topics (interaction of animals in Africa, glaciers, snowball earth, what makes the Dead Sea salty and more); to how the body works (memory, emotions, dreams, hypnotism and more).

There were some interesting experiments done during the course of the student research. One student studying memory wanted to test the effect of stimulating another sense during memorization. He gave each student a piece of gum while they were memorizing vocabulary words and then again during the testing. The test scores rose by an average of more than seven percent. Another student surveyed the students at school about their preference of water vs. Gatorade and discovered that the majority of the Hebron Academy students preferred the more healthy water choice. Another student videoed his cousin to test his findings on lie detection and discovered that body language really does change when someone is lying.

Some of the models students created were equally impressive. One student created a machine to create static electricity. Another used Slinkys to demonstrate how waves move through a particular medium, and another student created a glacier diorama.


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