“I never heard of an ice bubble before,” she said. “It’s like a bubble, but it’s really cold.”
The frozen water bubble machine, made with dry ice and dish soap, was one of the many experiments on display as South-West Park School students put on the school’s seventh annual science fair Thursday, Jan. 27.
More than 200 experiments were on display as students donned lab coats and rolled up their sleeves to create a variety of entries, ranging from physical and Earth sciences to science reports. A healthy dose of mad scientist was mixed in, with science fair projects including moldy food gardens and an “icky, squishy science” experiment.
Parents and classmates got a close look at the myriad of projects on display during an open house Thursday night, and among the most popular projects was the frozen water bubble experiment from Isabella Pirone that generated a steady stream of visitors waiting to take a turn holding the dry ice-filled soap bubbles in gloved hands.
The excitement in the students and their parents was a welcome sight to fourth-grade teacher Ann Jayne, who organized the science fair. She has seen the science fair grow from 20 projects from just her class the first year to the huge collection on display Thursday from students throughout the school.
“We never had this many before — the quality is just amazing. I am thrilled with the fact they are so excited with science and are trying the experiments out,” she said.
With the large number of entries, the school decided not to make it a judged competition, rather a display of student handiwork.
The projects followed the traditional form of using the scientific method — forming a hypothesis and then conducting experiments to answer the original question and test the guess.
One experiment tested whether a diet soda and regular soda can would sink or float the same amount. Another examined optical illusions with spinning wheels adorned with eye-numbing patterns. There where batteries concocted from bananas, gardens of moldy bread and a discussion of whether salsa could inflate a balloon.
Wandering about the collection of batteries attached to light bulbs and plant experiments, Peyton Ciesco found a large optical illusion wheel spinning around for the crowd a neat idea.
“It’s pretty cool. It is just how your eyes trick and change the way you see things,” she said.
Many students ended up looking at their surroundings a different way. One experiment measured the amount of vitamin C in different fruits and melons, while another tried to change the color of plants with colored water. A life-size heart of modeling clay with arteries was on display, as well as one young scientist’s experiment that made fluorescent water. The bottle held water had a pale yellow glow — his conclusion noted not to drink the water, because it tasted bad.