Excited by science
Wega-Fremont holds annual science fair
By Angie Landsverk
The cafeterium at Weyauwega-Fremont Middle School turned into a space full of science experiments last week.
The school district held its annual K-8 Science Fair there on Thursday, Feb. 16.
Some projects spilled over into the middle school gym.
“Science is all about doing,” said Lynn Ponto, who is a science teacher at W-F High School.
Each school year, students create projects for the event.
This year, 140 students registered for the science fair.
Zac Harley, a fifth grader at Weyauwega Elementary, was among them.
He called his project “Hamster Running.”
Harley did not think his hamster spent enough time running, so he created a maze for his pet.
It took Harley five days to build the maze.
He then observed his hamster named Denny go through the maze and recorded the results.
The first time Denny tried, his time was a minute and 12 seconds. The next time, it was about 2 1/2 minutes.
The third through sixth times Harley watched Denny go through the maze, it took his hamster five minutes to do so.
Harley learned that as his hamster “got used to running the maze, he didn’t seem to like doing it as much.”
Students demonstrated their experiments for judges, who included community members and a number of Ponto’s former students.
The students had the necessary ingredients on hand for their experiments, and the judges asked them questions and made notes on clipboards.
It was during the 1993-94 school year that Ponto took over what was formerly called the PTO Science Fair.
That was her second year teaching in the district.
The prior school year, Ponto served as a judge.
That year, 19 students entered projects in the science fair, she said.
Student participation has grown.
Ponto’s students visit every classroom at both Fremont and Weyauwega elementary schools and do science demonstrations for them.
“It’s fun for my kids to plan,” she said.
At the fifth-grade level, a high school student is paired with a fifth grader to develop a science project.
Ponto said all the fifth graders are required to do something.
While it is not required that each fifth grader participate in the science fair, quite a lot of the fifth graders do, she said.
Ponto said the elementary students like the hands-on aspect of the projects.
She described all the ideas in this year’s science fair as good ones.
W-F High School science teachers Mike Hansen and Nick Winn were also onhand for last week’s event to do demonstrations, Ponto said.
“It’s a great staff,” Ponto said.