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An independent day school educating students PreK-Grade 12

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Young Scientists Take Center Stage at the Grade 7 Science Fair

In a vibrant showcase of curiosity and critical thinking, the Grade 7 Science Fair at King demonstrated the power of inquiry-based learning. Following the earlier science fairs of the upper school and Grade 5, this event on Thursday, May 30, reaffirmed King’s commitment to research-driven education across all divisions.

Science teacher Lakeisha Jackson initiated the process with "I wonder" brainstorming sessions over the course of six classes. The activity challenged students to write five questions in a notebook before their science class, which were then reviewed at the end of class to decide on an area of focus. Jackson provided feedback to students, encouraging them to pursue areas of interest that would be challenging but ultimately fulfilling. Based on their interests, students had the choice to partner with a classmate or work independently on their projects.

“Our first idea was to do a soda project with Mentos, but Ms. Jackson said it would be too easy,” said James Sharp.

After investigating other project ideas, James and classmate Jackson Marcy decided to research the effect of white vinegar in extracting casein plastic from milk. Through experimentation, the pair found that four tablespoons of vinegar extracted the most plastic from one cup of milk. The process led James to deeper thoughts about the history of the substance.

“I know they used this from 1900 to 1941,” he said. “I'd like to know more about what they used it for back then.” 

Shelby Davis and Clara Kulig’s project, “Operation Oil!,” aimed to demystify the contents of popular moisturizers for their peers.

“Skincare and making sure you have the right moisturizer or cleanser is a big problem for teens,” said Clara.

Using four of the most popular moisturizers and oil test strips, Shelby and Clara confirmed their hypothesis that e.l.f. SKIN Holy Hydration Hydro Gel Moisturizer contained the most amount of oil. If they had the opportunity to conduct more research, the pair agreed that they would like to investigate the effectiveness of skin cleansers next.

Studying air purification, Ozzie Weisser, Ben Klein, and Oliver Niu wondered if clean air could be considered a luxury item, given the cost of most purification systems. They hypothesized that a store-bought air purifier would outperform a home-made system. To test this, the young researchers burned incense in the middle school science teachers’ office before filtering the air for ten minutes and 30 seconds while recording the results displayed on a purification monitor. The trio was surprised to discover that the home-made filter outperformed the store-bought device.

“Clean air is not really a luxury,” concluded Ben. “The homemade purifier was only 20 or 30 bucks to make. The store-bought one was like 70 or 80, and it was one of the least expensive options.”

Jackson commended the students on their deep curiosity and eagerness to explore their chosen topics, which resulted in a wide variety of unique and innovative projects.

“Their ability to independently navigate the research process and effectively utilize the resources provided to them, including expert guidance, was truly commendable,” she said. “Additionally, their resilience and problem-solving skills were evident as they encountered and overcame various challenges throughout their projects. Their dedication and hard work is truly inspiring.”