Education

Sparta's Mohawk Avenue School Scientists Show their Skills

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Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Sparta High School Robotics team members Sam Rosco, Julia Lopez and Julia Muth Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Sparta High School Bio Medical STEM Academy students Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Dream Girls Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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Dream Girls Credits: Jennifer Dericks
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SPARTA, NJ -Mohawk Avenue School was electric with excitement as 89 students demonstrated their interest in science.  Some worked in pairs while others designed, created, conducted and reported experiments on their own. 

This year the organizers including Mohawk Avenue School PTO President Victoria Young and chairperson Tracy Layman made a few changes to the fair.  They had students in one area of the school remain by their experiments for 45 minutes to explain and demonstrate their experiments, then they swapped.  Six teachers also observed the scientists.  The students received a certificate for having participated.

In addition to the third grade scientists, four groups of older students demonstrated programs currently in place at Sparta High School and Sparta Middle School.  The Robotics team demonstrated a bot that will be competing on Saturday in the high school gym.

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Students currently enrolled in the STEM academy Bio-Medical and Engineering programs had demonstrations set up in the hall, promoting the pinnacle of science studies in Sparta. 

Several students represented DreamGirls, offering support and encouragement to middle school girls to continue studying science. 

Mohawk Avenue School students were set up in the auditorium, cafeteria and gym. 

Tommy Fossett created Lego towers on a shaker table to "see if buildings can withstand earthquakes."

Molly Tomko explained how she created a model of the solar system using "foam balls cut in half painted the color of the planets and pipe cleaners to represent the sun's rays."

Jason Gutowski used potatoes to conduct electricity.  "A potato doesn't have all the things to make electricity. I needed to add copper and zinc.  It took me a while," he said.

Dylan Fatado created a portable charger with some help from Dad.  "It took three or four days.  We used solder, glue gun, a routing tool," to build the devise that powered up a cell phone. 
 

Adrian Applebaum demonstrated Electrical Conduction Theory using different liquids, a simple circuit and current meter.  "I like working with electricity," Applebaum said.

Jack McGurrin took a classroom discussion of simple machines and made it bigger with a catapult that launched marshmallows.

Amelia Boohoff's experiment was a family affair.  She created an anemometer with paper cups, sticks and a bottle.  Her dad drove the car, her sister operated the stop watch and Amelia counted the rotations, noting it went 90 rotations in one minute going at 10 miles per hour.

Stephen Palmer worked with magnetic slime.  "I was curious about how they got the iron into the putty but then I read about how they shaved the metal," Palmer  shared.

Alek Diamond demonstrated how camouflage works to protect animals. 

Logan Jennings shared his interest in robots, creating "a timeline of important events about robots," having done "a lot of research."  He plans to do robotics next year when he is in fourth grade.

Allistarie Young explained Magnetic Putty to his classmates.

Nora Al-Aydi did a demonstration of electrolytes in lemons, using "a galvanized nail and a penny before 1982 when there was more copper in the penny."

Riley Richardson showed a collection of florescent rocks, using a UV light and special glasses.

Benjamin Muth was excited to talk about electricity using a "galvanized nail because it has zinc," and copper tubing.   He learned about it in a book about easy science.  He chose his experiment because "I was like, 'wow.'" 

Eric McCall and Jaison Caswell demonstrated static electricity with a balloon, wiffle ball bat, wooden spoon and a wool sock.  "We thought it was cool the way the balloon moved up so we looked it up and found out about static electricty."

Luca O'Krepky and Christian Layman were very excited to explain the how the magnetic field held up a stack of nuts on the edge of a glass.

Amanda Torres and Nadia Meckey grew salt crystals on strings.

Hannah Dodson did a presentation on Mount St Helens.

Aavar Kamath demonstrated the density of various liquids.

Sanjay Seerattan and Anesesh Iyer quizzed observers about whether various items were electrical conductors or insulators.

Emma Hamilton used carnations and food coloring to show how plants reacted to sugar or salt water solutions.

Enzo Greco's magnets were bouncing as he demonstrated magnetic polarities.    

Lainey Rodriguez and Molly Dobbs had glowing bouncy eggs.  They explained in great detail how they used a real egg, vinegar and highlighter dye to transform the fragile egg to a rubbery ball that glows under an LED light. "I thought it was cool," said Dobbs.  "It's semi-permeable," added Rodriquez.  

Ella Rozynski, Sydney Dowell and Alex Maresca created Colorful Lava Lamps with Alka-Selzer, vegetable oil, food coloring and water.

Maureen Gaines and Gianna Cortese created Snowstorm in a Jar, using warm water, glitter, glue, baby oil, white paint and Alka-Selzer. 

Bennett Coleman and Daniel Reilly had a fun making a mess with Gak, created from shampoo, water color, paint, cornstarch and water.

Alyssa Gaburri and Bella Biondo asked the question "does the color of food affect taste?"  Their unique experiment asked people to rate the taste applesauce where the only difference was the food coloring.  They were surprised to learn other students thought red colored applesauce was sweeter, "probably because a lot of candy is red."  The girls had researched the implications of food dye and were concerned that there were possible health risks.  "It taught us to watch out what you eat, because it can make you sick," they answered in tandem.

Christopher Baumensatt explored many different ways pulleys are used, "in rescue truck and even in engines."

Lucy Levicky grew crystals using Epsom salts, green food coloring and warm water.  Levicky explained as the salts heated up and "bumped into each other sometimes they stuck together in patterns."   Her research showed her that crystals can be found "in everyday life; in jewelry, snowflakes, watches and even TV screens."

Shannon Daley, Shannon Kelly and Claudia O'Bsky explored magnets, using opposite polarities to push a magnet pawn through a maze.

"The students worked extremely hard on their projects and it shows," Young said.  "We are proud to give them an opportunity to show their skills."

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