Two teams of Magnolia ISD students, one from Magnolia West High School and one from Magnolia Junior High, received a top "Best of Show" prize for their projects at the district's annual science fair, Jan. 12.
Magnolia West High students Samantha Gerthe and Dakota Stormer won for their entry: Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome: Simple! Magnolia Junior High students Aubrey Frank and Brynn Reynolds won for their project: Feasibility of Pneumatic and Hydraulic Lenses.
More than 100 projects were entered in the district science fair, and several entries are going to the next level – which means exhibiting their projects in the Science and Engineering Fair in Houston Feb. 28 through Mar. 1 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Projects are divided into junior high, ninth grade and senior high divisions. It is an honor that 13 high school entries will be represented by Magnolia students at the Houston fair.
Gregory Corradino, the science department chair and campus science fair coordinator at Magnolia High School, explained that most of the MISD students exhibiting in the Houston show are pre-advanced placement (AP) students.
Their projects took months of research, data collection and analysis, and covered several science disciplines. They included experiments on the energy density of different types of fuels, a behavioral study about the accuracy of eyewitness identification, the preference of ants to different types of sugar, effective techniques for oil absorption and an experiment on the effects of music on bacteria growth.
"These students worked hard on their projects and had to maintain their grades as well. The large number of students going to the next level represents the commitment of both the students and their teachers in promoting the highest standards of science education," said Corradino. "This demonstrates to the community why Magnolia ISD is dedicated to being the best district in the State of Texas."
Dakota Stormer, senior high school Best of Show winner, agreed the science fair is hard work, but rewarding.
"Samantha and I worked on our project two hours a day for more than a year," he said. "We showed how a simple colored overlay used for people diagnosed with the visual perception problem Irlen Syndrome can help reduce the harmful effects of fluorescent lighting on the eyes for a high percentage of non-diagnosed students."
Stormer said the project also turned into a benefit for several students.
"The overlay also increased their focus, reading comfort and reading proficiency," he said. "We tested 72 fifth graders, who were all enthusiastic subjects and interested in our results. This took time and dedication on our part, but this research could actually be useful in the future. We not only enjoyed doing it, but the project could help us stand out among other college applicants for acceptance into school. It was a great way to learn how to work on something constructive with real relevance."