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Students excel at regional science fair

Posted: May 25, 2009 6:26 p.m.
Updated: May 26, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Trinity Science Teacher Becky Anderson looks on as Trinity Classical Academy student Jacey Massetto makes adjustments to her exhibit. Thirteen seventh- and eighth-grade students earned recognition for their interests in science at the Regional Association of Christian Schools International Science Fair at Biola University.

 
Thirteen seventh- and eighth-grade students from Trinity Classical Academy in Newhall earned recognition for their interests in science at the Regional Association of Christian Schools International Science Fair at Biola University.

The six teams of students participated in the fair, where 44 Christian schools were represented from across Southern California and more than 300 projects were displayed for judging recently.

Trinity students who placed at their school's science fair were eligible for the ACSI Regional science fair, held annually for the past 30 years, with the Southern California branch of the event held at Biola Christian University since 1988.

The primary goal of the fair is to integrate Christian faith with logical scientific knowledge among junior-high and high-school students.

Students at Trinity excelled at the fair in more ways than one.

"It was amazing to be at such a big science fair and be around other people who find science interesting," said Trinity seventh-grader Grant Wolf. Wolf, 13, took home second place at the fair for his seventh-grade physical-science individual project.

Wolf's project, "Putting 101," evaluated the effect on putting accuracy by adding weights to different locations on a golf putter's head.

"I felt like we all worked hard to get there, but the results were so worth it," said seventh-grader Jacey Massetto, 12.

Massetto and seventh-grade classmate Kat Waschak partnered to make their project, "Got Distance?" The project evaluated ways to increase launch distance of a trebuchet, an ancient military device designed to hurl missiles.

The pair was awarded first place for the sixth- through eighth-grade physical science team project category.

"It was inspiring to win against so many other great projects," Massetto said. "But we went in there knowing that we worked for it. It felt really good."

While the students displayed their projects at their own school, doing so at Biola was a new thing.

"I didn't know what to expect, but I ended up feeling really fortunate to be there," Wolf said. "It was about more than just a competition. It was real science."

Students worked on their projects throughout the semester, with daily classroom and after-school assistance from the school's science teacher, Rebecca Anderson.

This is the first year Trinity offered a science fair, and Anderson is impressed with the students' interest and creativity on the subject of science.

"Students get to take what they learn about science in my classroom and apply it in a real situation," Anderson said. "They don't just learn out of a textbook; they get to explore and discover things by doing it themselves. This way, they are bringing science into their own worlds."

Trinity students at the fair discovered more about the world of science in their own ways.

Aside from competing projects from various Christian junior-high and high-school students, science projects created by college students were on display to help encourage contestants to formulate future project ideas.

"The projects done by college students were really inspiring to me," said eighth-grader Taylor Totten. "I was able to relate to the basic principals used in their projects and it felt great to see that I am learning the same things."

Totten partnered with classmates Alexa Hobelman and Brittany Weistling for their project, "iConcentrate," which evaluated the effect of music on people's concentration levels.

The group was awarded second place in the 6-8 grade life-science team-project category.

"Our students are exhibiting more than an interest in science," Trinity founder Liz Caddow said. "They are applying what they learn into the real world and getting excited about it."

Trinity has acquired 227 students in its eight years, adding a grade each year as its originally enrolled students continue to grow.
The experience has been rewarding for Trinity students.

"Our school gives us broad horizons to explore and learn from," Wolf said. "When it is time for us to go into the world, we will be better prepared as individuals who can find their own paths in life."

Even though this was the first year the school participated in science fairs, it will not be the last.

"Our students are already talking about what they want to do next year," Caddow said. "They seem to be excited about excelling and going above and beyond in everything they put their minds to."

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