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Megan Wyse, who was a 13 year-old eighth grader at North Side Middle School last year, makes some adjustments to her science fair board while setting it up in the Memorial High School Field House on Jan. 20, 2012. (Truth Photo By Delayna Earley) (AP)

Joseph Gard, who was a 10 year-old fourth grader at Osolo Elementary School last year, and his father, Ty Gard, set up his science fair board while in the Memorial High School Field House on Jan. 20, 2012 (Truth Photo By Delayna Earley) (AP)
Two district science fairs Saturday

Posted on Feb. 1, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

ELKHART — This weekend, the public will be able to view some of the best science experiments completed by local students.

The top exhibits from Elkhart schools’ individual science fairs will be on display at Elkhart Memorial Saturday, while Concord Schools’ top projects will be on display Saturday at Concord Intermediate’s multipurpose room.

Judging for the top projects in each district will go on during the morning, but Elkhart’s projects will be open to the public from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at Memorial, while Concord’s will be on display for the public from noon to 12:30 p.m.

“It is not just science,” said Dana Knapp, a Pinewood third-grade teacher who works with PEP (Providing for Exceptional Potential) students. Students constantly write about their work, so that English and language arts are tied in to the project too. “They are reading and researching. It is a cross-curricular project that produces something that is authentic for each student that participates.”

Parents are also often heavily involved, Knapp said. Students sometimes talk with parents and learn about what regular issues or frustrations they face as ideas for science fair projects. Parents then often work with their children through the completion of the project.

As a part of learning the scientific process, Knapp wrote in an email that students also “learn that in science, if their project hypothesis is incorrect, that is OK!”

Concord High School teacher Amy West, who coordinates the Concord district science fair, said that, especially for older students who often have more lectures in science classes, science fair projects let students experience hands-on the kind of work scientists can do.

“They’ll get just an excitement for science,” West said.

Elkhart’s science fair Saturday will include projects from Elkhart’s 14 elementary and three middle school science fairs, along with any from home schooled students or students in private schools within Elkhart Community Schools’ district boundaries who wished to participate.

A science fair for high school students will be held at ETHOS (Encouraging Technology and Hands On Science) at a later date, according to information from Elkhart Community Schools.

An awards ceremony for Elkhart’s science fair will be in the Memorial auditorium at 3:30 p.m. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the hallway outside of the Memorial Field House, Memorial advanced placement physics and chemistry students will be holding science demonstrations and giving tours of the labs and solar observatory.

The top projects from both science fairs will be eligible for entry in the Northern Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair at the University of Notre Dame in March.

@Breakout heads 08:IF YOU GO:

Elkhart Science Fair Public Displays

WHEN: Saturday, 1 to 3:30 p.m.

WHERE: Elkhart Memorial High School

Concord Science Fair Public Displays

WHEN: Saturday, noon to 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: Concord Intermediate School