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Science Fair Wraps Up Successful Year
Fair Oaks fourth grader Anabel Magana, foreground, looks at an award-winning science fair project called Color Surprise while classmate Kylie Davis considers another on display at the OJUSD Science Fair during their class visit on March 13 at the FES Hall. - photo by Dawn M. Henley/The Leader

The project boards have been removed, as the annual Oakdale Joint Unified School District Science Fair recently finished, but now some projects are ready to move on to the county level.

OJUSD Science Fair chairperson Kathy Jenkins said that there were 159 Kindergarten through eighth grade projects submitted for judging at the science fair, with 459 students who participated through class, individual, or group projects. She reported that the fifth and sixth grades had the most entries. Jenkins’ co-chair for the event was Krista Smith.

“There aren’t as many, numbers are down, but they are really good quality projects,” Jenkins said. “There are more whole class projects this year than in previous years.”

The awards ceremony for the Science Fair will be held tonight, Wednesday, March 20 at Magnolia Auditorium where the students will learn about how their entries placed. Jenkins said that there are 50 awards for science projects that encompass community, class, administrator special, individual, and group awards. Of those 50, 28 of the projects will advance to the Stanislaus County Science Fair. She added that the organizers are excited about all the community sponsors they have.

The projects were judged on March 12 by 24 judges. All science projects are judged against the standards of the scientific method, which includes the problem/question, hypothesis, procedure, results/data, conclusion, notebook, and also the display itself.

“Applications go out in January and they submit in March, so it’s quite a process,” Jenkins said.

The Student Scientist Evening on March 13, where students had the opportunity to make presentations about their science fair entries, drew a good turnout, with 70 student scientists hosting their projects to answer questions and discuss. Drawings were also held every 15 minutes for scientific prizes for participants.

“The goal for the Student Scientist Evening is for them to practice their public speaking skills, discuss the scientific method, and have their peers see what it takes to have an award-winning project,” Jenkins explained. “It really showcases the students.”

Any student who’s entered at the science fair can present about their project, and, Jenkins added, after they’re done with their presentations, they go around and listen to others present.

A listing of Science Fair awards will run in the March 27 issue of The Leader.