By Misty DUPLESSIS
On the evening of Jan. 25, Mountain Avenue Elementary students displayed an array of science projects in the auditorium for the parent/family night as they wrapped up their annual Science Fun Fair.
Students stood by their experiments and answered questions, performed demonstrations and talked about the inspiration for their projects.
First grade student Advait Kartik constructed mini robots by recycling everyday household items like watch batteries, a toothbrush and tape. Advait credited his inspiration to his mother Archana Sudamalla whose engineering skills helped guide him through the project.
Students broke entry records for the fourth annual fair with an impressive 132 projects entered.
“The thing that I think is more important to see is the kids so excited and engaged by science and science learning, and they have amazing projects,” said Science Fair Chair Jacki Bodnar who added that experiments ranged from the heights of the stratosphere to the depths of the oceans.
The elementary kids were not the only students who were involved with the fair. Fifty CV High School students, many from the Academy of Science, volunteered their time throughout the evening. Among them was CVHS 10th grader
Shiyin Lim who helped in this year’s science fair because she attended Mountain Avenue and loves science.
Students were in for a treat when JPL senior engineer Steve Schroeder, who was one of the many minds that worked on the Curiosity Rover that landed on Mars in August 2012, visited the fair.
Schroeder brought with him a one-tenth scale model of the robot in which he was able to point out specific parts on the machine and explain their functions.
Clark Magnet High School’s robotics team made an interactive experience out of the event by bringing their basketball-throwing robot that they had assembled the previous year.
Although it seemed like fun and games, the elementary students worked diligently to make this year’s Science Fun Fair the biggest one the school has hosted. State Assemblymember Mike Gatto recognized all those who worked to make the event a success and presented certificates to fair organizers and students participants, with the help of CommunicationsDirector Justin Hager.