TDSP’s Magnificent Middle School Science Fair

TDSP’s first Science Fair in seven years took place this past Thursday. Organized by Ms. Yarrisa Valdez, the middle school girls worked for a solid few weeks creating, developing, and designing science experiments. With over 20 exhibits, viewers weaved through a maze of creativity and ingenuity as each group presented their work to parents, teachers, and fellow students. Ranging from questions about how glofish glow to creating a lie detector based on a person’s change in heart rate, many groups displayed original ideas and illustrations.

Food and Moods by seventh-graders Rochel Friedman and Tehilla Yoffe explored the effects of certain foods on a person’s mood. With research and experimentation, the girls found that foods like dark chocolate, bananas, and blueberries positively affect moods such as relaxing, relieving stress, and making a person happier. Other foods such as bagels and salted nuts deflate moods making a person more tired and sluggish. “The best part was testing people,” the girls agreed. “It was a lot of fun seeing how moods changed depending on the food they ate.”

Sixth-grader Dina Wolin researched in-depth human genetics and the characteristics of different DNA traits such as hair and eye color. Using all of her research, Dina created a Punnett square with the likelihood of her genes for hair and eye color based on her parents’ and grandparents’ genes. Then, by using this information and creating a hypothetical gene pool of her future husband’s eye and hair color, she made a Punnett square of the likelihood of her future child’s eye color and hair color. Clearly and beautifully presented, Dina displayed all her hours of research on her trifold board.

For her 3D visual display of the different kinds of weather clouds, eighth-grader Tova Fellheimer created an in-person experience of a thunderstorm. Using cardboard and black tablecloths, Tova made a dark room, lightning-effect lighting, and a thunderstorm sound recording. Other fun experiences included watching Atara Goetz and Leah Semel’s Soda Volcanoes erupt using Mentos and seeing Menucha Ehrlich and Shira Zilcha’s “clouds” (made of shaving cream) drip water (food coloring).

For Ms. Valdez, the best part of the process was seeing students face challenges and yet “they pushed through to find solutions,” observed Ms. Valdez. Many parents and teachers came to the science fair, and the general consensus was that it was interesting and magnificent. “It was awesome, amazing, and so fun,” said first-grade boys teacher Mrs. Jenni O’Brien.

Thank you to Ms. Yarissa Valdez for the amazing job she did organizing the Science Fair, and thank you to our Middle School Girls for the beautiful and interesting projects they created.