By Agnes CONSTANTE
More than 110 students from grades kinder through six participated in Mountain Avenue Elementary School’s third annual Science Fun Fair on Friday, Jan. 28.
The clamoring and bustling of students and parents from the beginning of the event to its end reflected the enthusiasm and appreciation toward science by those in attendance.
“[The fair is] wonderful,” said Annette Limonadi, a parent who has two children attending the school. “The kids love it and it’s educational in a fun way.”
Projects were presented on poster boards that were lined up on tables inside the school. Students showcased a variety of scientific experiments, from conducting electricity with potatoes to determining the best material to filter colored water.
“I was really surprised with the diversity of the different experiments,” said parent Karen Fullner.
While the projects were a central part of the fair, there were other stations both indoors and outdoors that enhanced the evening. There was a telescope for parents and kids to view the moon and stars, a hovercraft chair that kids were able to sit on, fog dry ice bubbles, and more.
The Coke and Mentos fountain was a favorite among kids, who screamed in excitement as Coke spurted out from a plastic bottle high up into the air.
Despite the noise and crowd, parents spoke favorably about the evening.
“We are new to this school but it has been great because the kids really love it,” said Udaya Manchikatla, whose son completed a project about dancing raisins. “They seem to be able to [understand] what a science fair is even though they’re in kindergarten, so it’s been a great experience for us.”
Manchikatla’s son combined baking soda and vinegar to create a carbonated liquid that made raisins appear to be dancing.
Another positive aspect of the fair was that it brought the community of parents together, said parent Sarah Orth, whose two children submitted projects.
“What’s really good about this is it draws on … all the parents who are at [the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, those who are] scientists, and it really helps bring a new level of looking at science in school. So I think it’s a fabulous thing to do. It gets families involved.”
The school began holding science fairs in 2010 and the event is co-chaired by parent Jackie Bodner, who holds a doctorate degree in molecular biology/genetics, and Saty Ragvachary, who holds a doctorate degree in engineering.
Six of the sixth grade science projects will compete in the Los Angeles County Fair at the end of March, representing Mountain Avenue Elementary for the first time.
No judging took place at the fair, and every student participant received a prize for their efforts.