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Students at Trinity Christian School show off winning science projects

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CARBONDALE, ILLINOIS (WSIL) -- A local teacher is proud of her students after advancing to a state competition with their science projects.

A Total of 28 students from southern Illinois have been selected to participate in the State Junior Science Expo and six of those are students at Trinity Christian School.

Science teacher Eleanor Gillespie says students first had to compete at the Illinois Junior Academy of Science regional science fair. The event took place the first week of March after months of preparation.

"The students start in October by choosing their project," she explains. "I let them choose a project of their choice because I want them to be excited over what they're learning about."

Students must do research on a method to carry out the project, figure out the materials needed, put the data into graphs and charts, then analyze the outcome in a written report that's at least 20 pages long.

Gillespie's students have been competing in the regional science fair for about 7 years now. But instead of being in-person at Southern Illinois University, this year judging happened virtually.

"All the kids competed over zoom, so there was that technical aspect to it," she says. "This year, they had to put power points together to present to the judges."

This year's projects that impressed the judges and will move forward include:

  • Thomas Aaflaq (Freshman): Whether a saltwater, metal or air battery bests conducts electricity
  • Grace Wilson (Sophomore): Aerodynamics of a frisbee including flight design differences in shape
  • Simone Prozesky (8th Grade): What liquids stain your teeth the most and recognized as 'Best Overall'
  • Macy Melzer (8th Grade): How differences in sunlight exposure impacts a plant's growth
  • Henry Thomas (8th Grade): If a pig can learn the fundamentals of literacy
  • Isaac Brooks (Freshman): Velocity difference between an aluminum and wooden baseball bat

Like the regional competition, the state expo will also be virtual this year and take place the first weekend of May. Right now, students are preparing their final presentations and videoing them to be submitted

Brooke Schlyer

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