Students show off their knowledge at Willow Creek Middle School during GATEway science fair – Post Bulletin


ROCHESTER — Third-grade student Aria Frye tackled a daily problem for her science project: how to find a shampoo that would work best for her very curly black hair.

Lying on the folds of a cardboard display, she put down her project. The research, the procedure, the conclusion. She included everything from the PH scale of the hair to its porosity.

“Some shampoos don’t have the right ingredients for my hair, and some of them have ingredients that aren’t really good for my hair,” Frye said. “But I made my own, so I can use them.”

Frye was one of approximately 150 students who attended the 32nd annual GATEway science fair, held Saturday at Willow Creek Middle School. Held for students in grades 3-6, the event included students from 25 schools, including 10 outside of Rochester.

The annual event is not judged. However, students are assessed during the process. Event organizer Ginny Amundson said it gave students a chance to pursue their curiosity and learn some basic science principles.

“It’s really important that they learn how to speak in public, how to explain it,” Amundson said. “It also really helps them prepare if they want to go to the regional science fair.”

There were all sorts of science experiments represented at the fair, from one demonstrating the benefits of hydropower to one examining the effects of mask use on athletic performance.

Food took a prominent place in the fair. At least three different experiments have focused on Skittles. Others included popcorn, potatoes and cookies.

“I love food,” said fifth grader Maryam Rizwan. His experiment was to determine if the colors of Skittles mixed together when dipped in water.

Third-grade student Stella Huelsbeck talks about her science project with a reviewer Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. Her project investigated whether seeing color can trick the nose into smelling something that isn’t there.

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This year, Katie Holger was at the event for her daughter, Kaia, whose project was to determine which type of potato would make the best battery. However, Katie remembers participating in the GATEway science fair herself when she was at school in the 1990s.

She remembers making her own thermometer one year. Another year, she did an experiment to see if centrifugal force would cause grass to grow sideways on a record player.

“I just think it’s really cool, especially to get women interested in science,” said Katie Holger. “It’s always fun. I love doing the science fair.”


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