By Carly Guise
As the school science fair has come and gone, students across the high school have begun preparing for their next challenge: the York County Science and Engineering Fair.
The county science fair takes place on Mar. 5 and 6 at Penn State York. Its predecessor, the school science fair, took place on Jan. 5.
At the school fair, Alex Sun, junior, was named Grand Champion for his project on 3D printed biodegradable material. Ismail Guler and Shreeji Patel, both sophomores, were named Reserve Grand Champions for their project that dealt with radiation, specifically from power plants.
Now Alex, Ismail, Shreeji, and over a dozen more students are working closely with chemistry teacher Mrs. Stone to make sure that their projects are ready to compete at the county level.
“First, I go over everyone’s boards with them and we talk about doing more trials,” Mrs. Stone said. “And then we practice - because at our fair you don’t have to talk to a judge, but you do get interviewed by a judge at the county fair.”
For some students, this is their first county fair and they are relying on their teachers to help them through the process.
“Our teachers have helped us be a lot more prepared for the county science fair,” said sophomore Aubrie Wise, a first-time county competitor. “At the school science fair, you’re more on your own, but at the county science fair, they really help you through the process and answer all of your questions.”
Others, who have gone to the fair before, have pinpointed where their projects could be revised or improved to better their chances with judges at YCSEF. This may include anything from simply changing the setup of a board to adding more trials to an experiment or rewriting a research paper.
“For the school science fair, the goal was to test if our compound prevented radiation,” said Ismail, “but for the county science fair, we’re going to apply it to real-life situations, such as how the compound changes the concrete.”
Out of the 76 projects presented at Red Lion’s science fair, 15-20 will be going to the county fair.
Due to the honors biology and chemistry classes being changed to semester-long courses this year, there will be a second, smaller school fair held in May that will allow second semester students to fulfill their science fair participation requirements.