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  Saturday, April 19, 2014
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The Monument High School Science Fair
By Rick Winterson

     If you spent last Thursday morning at the Monument High School Science Fair, you would have found out about the structural properties of eggshells, and which chewing gum flavor lasts the longest (Wrigley cinnamon with a mannitol sweetener).  You could see how unknown powders are analyzed, so that they aren’t confused with illegal substances, and you could track how a bone fracture heals by examining the actual X-rays.  Your questions about music and memory, caffeine and curve balls, and lights and liquids would have been answered.

     The occasion was the Monument High School Science Fair, held in the auditorium of the historic South Boston High School, on Thursday morning, January 19.

     Over 200 young student exhibitors lined the aisles and filled the auditorium stage with their scientific displays.  For four hours, 27 judges went from exhibit to exhibit judging the students’ efforts.  And it was difficult making choices between all the exhibits.

     Each student had to set up a tabletop display of his/her work.  The display had to be based on a scientific observation and a question (a hypothesis), followed by research and experiments to prove the hypothesis.  Then, using notes from their logbooks, the exhibitors all had to write scientific reports and design their displays. 

     The so-called “scientific method” was used throughout: observe, investigate, hypothesize, perform experiments, analyze data, draw conclusions, and write the project up.

     In addition to being scientifically interesting, the displays were colorful and drew the attention of those at the Science Fair.  The exhibitors had to explain their projects to the judges in their own words, and then answer some difficult questions.  They did an excellent job with this.  And the exhibitors were enthusiastic.  Many of them approached the judges on their own to stop and visit their exhibits.

     Monument High School offers high quality, standards-based secondary school courses (the “core subjects”), along with criminal justice and public safety courses.  Monument’s aim is college preparation.  Internships are available with the police, firefighters, courts, park systems, Coast Guard, and emergency medical teams.  Many of Monument’s science programs are connected with forensics, criminology, and crime scene investigations.

     It was a pleasure to see so many young minds engaged in scientific pursuits.



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Judges and exhibitors at the Monument High School Science Fair.  Over 200 students displayed their projects.