Santa Barbara County Science Fair

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By Hana Ulep

For months, students in schools all over Santa Barbara county worked vigorously on their science projects, and put a lot of effort in during the process. It was a long, stressful project that took much time and dedication to complete. The people who did unique science projects (that the county was interested in) were acknowledged for this hard work with an invitation to the Santa Barbara County Science Fair. The science fair was held at UCSB in the Corwin Pavilion on March 11th. Many students from Santa Barbara Junior High School participated in this event for their wonderful science projects, and some won awards and an invitation to the state science fair.

The Santa Barbara County Science Fair was for junior high, middle, and high schools. The competition was split into divisions, and each project was given a category in which they would display their projects to the judges. Some of these divisions include microbiology, behavioral and cognitive sciences, environmental sciences, and more. The students brought their science project display boards, and the judges walked around, interviewing the students about their projects. The judges would then decide on which projects would win a bronze, silver, or gold medal for each division, and who would get an invitation to attend the State Science Fair. This process took about three and a half hours, and the students got one break from standing in front of their boards and informing the judges of what they studied and tested. County Science Fair participant Talia Honikman shares her thoughts about being there. “They would walk up to you and you had to tell them about your project. What materials and procedures you used, your conclusion, what you might want to look at in that topic later, and then they would ask you questions about your project. I actually learned a lot about talking to people from that experience, just because, in the heat of the moment, I still had a lot of control over what I was saying and how I could articulate what my project was about.” The County Science Fair was very beneficial, and was a good learning experience for the students.

A large amount of people from Santa Barbara Junior High School were invited to attend the county science fair, for their hard work and unique projects. The attendees included Lulu Dunaway, Chloe Lobdell, Jessica Lapointe, Coraline Crannell, Allie Womack, Isabella Macioce, Maya Panizzon, Coleman Mortensen, Gelsey Ruiz Mendoza, Madison Jaimes, Cuyler Lusk, Talia Honikman, Jesse Osterhage, Paola Garcia, Jake Ballantine, Lily Purvis, and Ella Onishuk. Several of these students also won a medal and a prize! Cuyler Lusk, Lily Purvis, and Ella Onishuk won a gold medal and an invitation to the state science fair, along with $50 cash. Many of the contestants won silver and bronze medals too. Some students were also awarded with Special Awards, awards that recognized projects for different things like uniqueness or effectiveness in the world. Ella Onishuk won the “Best Junior High Project With Recommendations For Improving The Environment” award, and $50 cash, for her experiment on the effect of fire retardant on sea monkeys. Our school did extremely well in the County Science Fair, and we are all very proud of these hard-working students.

To follow this experience of the County Science Fair, the participants were rewarded with a pizza and ice cream party! This party was held on Tuesday, March 15th. Ms. Garza, Ms. Kilroy, and Mr. Garcia were in charge of this party, and it was a fun and exciting way to celebrate the hard work and dedication that the students put into making their projects and the experience of being at the county science fair. The students from our school got to hang out in Ms. Knecht’s room and enjoy cheese and pepperoni pizza. They then got to enjoy cookies and cream ice cream as well as root beer soda. Mr. Garcia also came in and  congratulated the participants for their accomplishments and success in their projects, and acknowledged them for their efforts. This was a very fun way for the students to reflect and feel proud on all that they’ve done, and celebrate together with some delicious food to enjoy.

The Santa Barbara County Science Fair was a big success for all the students, regardless if they got an award or an invitation to move on to the state fair. It showed the students’ dedication towards their project, and gave them a new experience that they benefited from greatly.

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