Prairie River students shine in annual science fair

Prairie River Junior High School science fair winners. Front left-right, are Davin Degner, Naomi Strebchuk, Iliegh Kerr, Amara Drefs (tops in science fair), Kelly Stewart, Kura Stout, and Elly Beamish. Back left-right, are Dawson Cardinal, Corey Isaac, Kyle Calahesin, Eve Keay, Rae Ann Gill, Kieran Larson, Alexis Stewart, Spencer Peacock and Danelle Gacuya. Missing in photo – Madison Bourque.

Richard Froese
Enquiring experiments by Grade 8 and 9 students of Prairie River Junior High School in High Prairie were on display at the school’s annual science fair Feb. 16.

“Judges were overall impressed with the students’ abilities to present their projects,” says science teacher Neil Pereira, who organized the event with Erlene Richards for the first time.
“Overall comments from the judges were that students’ projects showed a tremendous amount of effort and detail.”

With 53 projects in the science fair, organizers also gave top marks.

“All medalists had scores of 80 per cent or higher, which is awesome,” Pereira says.

Amara Drefs was presented an award for top project in the science fair.

“We also think that this year’s gold and silver medallists were extremely strong that we want to send both of them to the regionals this year as well.”

The regional science fair is set for March 16-17 in Fairview.

Students spent months preparing for the science fair.

“Every student put in an amazing amount of effort both in school and out of school for this project,” Pereira says.
“The hard work students put into their projects really showed, and made it very hard to finally pick our top projects, as they were all exceptional.”

Organizers thank all the volunteers that judged, organized and ran the science fair.

Entries were classified in biology, chemistry, engineering, physics and psychology.

Many projects were very intriguing.

-Foods Affect Moods was presented by Brianna Cunningham, Grade 8.
“The hypothesis was correct that emotions people associated wit different varieties of food changed, but the questions remained the same,” Cunningham states in her conclusion.
“I learned that each person has their own personal preferences toward different varieties of foods.”
“I like eating food and I have emotions towards foods and I wanted to see other people’s emotions towards food.”

-The Importance Weather Has on Mood was presented by Alexis Stewart, Grade 8.
She conducted the project to determine whether other people experience similar affects of weather.
“Personally, I love the rain and wanted to see if it impacts other people differently,” Stewart says.
“If it’s sunny outside and it starts to rain, it makes me 10 times more happy.”
From a survey of people she completed, data shows 83 per cent of people do think weather affects their mood.
“The weather and our moods are changing every day,” Stewart says,” states her conclusion.
She has advice for people who feel down during the dismal days of winter.
“People should invest in a full-spectrum light so that they don’t get seasonal affective disorder,” Stewart says.

-Exo Hands vs. Electric Prosthesis Hands was presented by Kyle Calahesin, Grade 8.
“In conclusion, my cardboard hand will be like a regular hand and be able to do anything I can in a day,” Calahesin says in his report.
“I think power exos would be stronger.
“An electric exo was able to sense and touch objects stronger than a cardboard exo.”
He was inspired to do the project when he saw a mother in Edmonton trying to put a prosthetic arm onto a child about five or six years old.
“I wanted to see if I could make a prosthetic arm,” Calahesin says.
“I would make it controlled by the brain and use light-weight material so you could sense temperature.”

Kyle Calahesin, Grade 8, with his project Exo Hands vs. Electric Prosthetic Hands. He won silver in the engineering category.
Kura Stout, Grade 8, with her project The Procedure of Petrified Wood Forming. She won gold in the chemistry category.
Brayley Emter, Grade 8, with her project Getting to the Heart of the Problem.
Kelly Stewart, Grade 8, with her project How Does Alcohol Affect the Human Body?
Autymn Potvin, Grade 8, with her project Heat Conductivity.
Grade 9 students Kaitlin Jong, and Caspa Willier, with their project Can You Hear Meh?
Alexis Stewart, Grade 8, with her project The Impact Weather Has on Mood. She won gold in the psychology category.
Iliegh Kerr, Grade 8, with her project Sleep Paralysis. She won bronze in the psychology category.
Carys Belcourt, Grade 8, with her project Making Perfume Last Longer.
Kieran Larson, Grade 8, with his project Earthquake-Resistant Skyscrapers. He won gold in the engineering category.

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