Ross Glen School hosts student science fair

Ross Glen School held a science fair Monday and judges included two players from the Medicine Hat Tigers, MP Glen Motz, CEO of HALO Paul Carolan, as well as Medicine Hat Public School Division vice chair Pat Grisonich and trustee Rick Massini.

Organizer Michael Tschritter said, “Our science fair is an opportunity for our students to explore the scientific method. They pick a project that is completely of their choice that they are passionate about and suits their interests.”

There were more than 40 projects presented and 65 students taking part. There were projects on sports, art, technology, science and engineering.

“We are tremendously impressed with our students digging in and working so hard to explore how the scientific method applies to them,” added Tschritter.

Science Fair Club started up in December 2022 and the projects on display were ones students had been working on for the past three months. Once a week, during lunch hour, students were able to meet to learn and get support.

Growing crystals was the project Kaley Ruckaber’s chose because she thought it would be fun and seemed interesting. Ruckaber ran three trials on different days in February and each one used a different amount of substance to determine how much was needed to make the best crystals.

“I took a jar, filled it up with hot water and then put in the amount of substance I wanted to use.”

One jar contained borax and was dyed blue with food colouring, another sugar (red) and a third salt (green). All were stirred and then a pipe cleaner was placed in each jar and left for four days. Despite the food colouring, all the crystals that formed were white. Ruckaber said, “Yes, I did add food colouring, but I don’t know why it did that.”

Being at the science fair allowed Ruckaber to share some cool facts she discovered about crystals, such as snowflakes are really crystals while some of the most valuable items on earth – diamonds, rubies and emeralds – are also crystals.

Claire Bigelow grew green bean plants under different coloured lights. The box the plants were growing in took Bigelow about two weeks to build. She used different coloured plastic sheets – yellow, red, green and purple – to alter the colour the plants were growing under.

“I decided that those would be a good idea because they are all different from each other,” explained Bigelow.

The experiment started slowly for Bigelow as the plants initially wouldn’t grow. She discovered she was over-watering them and, once she limited watering to two tablespoons every other day, the plants started to grow. By Feb. 21, there was at least one plant growing under each of the colours. Bigelow said, “Purple was pretty good, but the leaves were sort of shrivelled. Yellow is growing the best and the healthiest plants.”

SAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News