Crescent Harbor Elementary students learn about science

Crescent Harbor Elementary School third-grader Makayla Jenkins displays a chunk of wood she used in her experiment about tree growth - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
Crescent Harbor Elementary School third-grader Makayla Jenkins displays a chunk of wood she used in her experiment about tree growth
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

Rockets, pulleys and acidity were just some of the topics students at an Oak Harbor elementary school have been studying in recent weeks.

Students at Crescent Harbor spent weeks learning the basics of the scientific process and developing a suitable experiment they presented during a science fair April 12 in the school’s gym.

Approximately 70 students representing all grades participated in the science fair, which featured experiments about everything from the acidity of water to simple machines.

Third-grader Mikayla Jenkins learned about tree growth and how various types of damage can affect a tree.

“When a tree gets a scratch, it might get diseased by fungus and insects,” Jenkins said. She also learned how to determine the age of a tree by counting its rings.

The student projects were evaluated by a panel of judges comprising school staff and scientists and engineers living in the community.

Second-grader Haley Riffel explained her project about taste buds to Assistant Superintendent Lance Gibbon. She said she “learned different parts of the tongue taste different flavors that we eat.” She said she also enjoyed tasting the different flavors she used in her experiment.

Near Riffel’s project was fifth-grader Austin Palmer, who conducted a rocketry experiment where he found the more weight he added to his rocket, the higher it would climb.

Fifth-grade teacher Brian Poole said students in his class spent 11 weeks developing their projects.

Projects lined the walls of Crescent Harbor Elementary School’s gymnasium. Students studied metal melting points, the life cycle of butterflies and how some drinks dissolve human teeth.

Scott Smith, a PTA member who helped organize the event, said the science fair has grown significantly from the 15 students who participated in the first one several years ago.

“The teachers have done a great job getting science instituted into their curriculums,” Smith said.

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