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School District Fair Celebrates Student Scientists
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Cloverland Elementary teacher Jon Blanc visits with a few students during the Annual Science Fair hosted at the FES Hall. The 33rd Annual Event hosted projects from all four OJUSD Elementary Schools, as well as Oakdale Junior High School. Teresa Hammond/The Leader

A little hard work didn’t scare five year old Grace O’Brien.

The Fair Oaks kindergarten student was on hand at the FES Hall this past Wednesday night for the 33rd Annual Science Fair. Hers was one of 130 projects submitted by budding scientists throughout the district.

Oakdale Joint Unified students from kindergarten through eighth grade participated in this year’s event.

“It was a little hard,” Grace said of her project titled Stop the Stomach Flu. “I got the easy jobs, mommy had to do the hard jobs.”

Grace’s mother, Lauren shared she found the age appropriate project on Pinterest. Grace and mom would collect bacteria, place it in a petri dish and observe how it responded to varying household cleaners.

“She’s a really talkative child,” Lauren said of her daughter, “this was a really good project for her.”

Eleven-year-old Cole Nykoluk of Cloverland Elementary spent his time working on his Sugar Rush Project. He tested varying liquids with sugar to see which would produce the most rock candy.

“I learned that water is the purest out of the bunch,” Cole said, “so drink your water.”

Third year scientist Isabella Salzar, 9, demonstrated the progressive thinking of OJUSD scientists with her project “Anti-Evaporation Field Shield.”

“I like doing the projects,” the fourth grader shared, noting she was inspired to do her project by the drought.

According to event organizer, Magnolia Vice Principal Kathy Jenkins, this year’s event had a decline in projects from last year. Eighth grade had the largest participation with 38 projects submitted.

“I was pleased with the quality of the projects and excited that so many student scientists were in attendance at the Student Scientist Evening,” she said.

Awards will be given to top projects during Awards Night tonight, Wednesday, March 23 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Magnolia Elementary School Auditorium.