At the grades 7 and 8 Science Fair on May 28, students exhibited their projects in the Great Hall and discussed their findings with teachers, staff. and members of the community. The seventh and eighth graders focused on a wide range of topics—from testing the effects of Wi-Fi connectivity on plant life to detecting the sincerity of a smile to researching the best shampoo.
The students began working on their experiments in September. The project was broken down into several stages, with the young scientists determining a research question, writing a project proposal, conducting background research, formulating a detailed procedure and hypothesis, running the experiment, graphing their data, and, finally, drawing a conclusion.
Students who maintained a distinguished average through all stages of the project were selected as finalists. They were then interviewed by a judge who scored them based on the quality of their experiment, the depth of their knowledge, and the quality of their oral and visual presentation.
After the first round of scoring by the faculty and two Upper School student judges, the four students with the highest scores were then interviewed by second round judges Patty Lein, head of Upper School, and Dr. Dave Morgan, dean of Science.
“My project was about fairness, and if our sense of fairness is controlled in certain situations of sharing. I found that there are discernible differences in selfishness with children and adults, and with boys and girls,” said Tristan Griffin, who won first place in the fair for grade 8. (See below a complete list of prize winners and finalists.)
Marco Marsans, who came in second in grade 8, tested whether hand dominance could affect one's ability to learn languages. He became interested in his topic when he learned that the language center is located in the left hemisphere of the brain. “By the end of my trials, I concluded that lefties were more in touch with their language center than righties,” he said. “I also found data suggesting that girls might be better at this as well. Older people scored slightly higher than other participants, and students from European countries usually received the highest scores. Overall, this was a very fun and interesting experiment, and I would love to keep expanding the project in the future,” he said.
Throughout the fair, judges circulated around the room and spoke with the junior scientists. “It was an impressive event in terms of the research topics, the depth of the findings, and the students’ professional approach to organizing and presenting the data. All seventh and eighth graders should be proud of their significant accomplishments,” said Anna Strong, science teacher and Science Fair leader.
Grade 8 1st place—Tristan Griffin: “Is fairness governed?” 2nd place—Marco Marsans: “Is there a correlation between handedness and the ability to learn new languages?” 3rd place—Carley Wootton: “Is there a correlation between intellectual habits and use of the word ‘like’?”
Grade 7 1st place—Sophie Griffin: “How different are only children?” 2nd place—Dualta Gallaher: “Can exercise make our brains work better?” 3rd place—Alex Saunders: “Does weather affect our moods?”
Grade 8 Finalists Falon Attias: “When a dancer does a pirouette, does the leg position/angle in posse affect the speed and amount someone does?” India Attias: “Does your name affect how people perceive you?” Caroline Breitweiser: “Do video games improve reaction time?” Rosa Carmichael: “Do peppermints improve one’s ability to concentrate?” Sophie Cassou: “Does label color affect how healthy we perceive a food to be?” Emily Costello: “Which notes make the strongest vibration with ‘C’?” Nina Damiecki: “Do kids have a better sense of rhythm than adults?” Victoria Hu: “Is it possible to distinguish fake and genuine smiles?” Peter Kim: “Do fruit flies prefer organic or conventional fruits?” Ted Morency: “Is it possible to make a homemade toothpaste that’s as effective as a leading brand?” Gideon Yektai: “Does Wi-Fi affect plant growth?”
Grade 7 FInalists Lily Attias: “Which energy drinks affect your energy levels the most?” Dualta Gallaher: “Does aerobic exercise make our brains work better?” Sarah Levine: “Which shampoo is the best?” Larry Li: “Can the color of paper affect the speed of doing homework?” Carter Marcelle: “Do family members have similar fingerprints?” Valentina Monsalve: “Are dancers better at recovering from dizziness than non-dancers?” Audrey Niu: “Does the color of your plate affect how appetizing food appears?”