WWU Students Judge KCA Science Fair

Dr. Carrie McCray, WWU associate professor, and Victoria Honigman, a biology education major from Shelbyville, Ill., listen as Nataleigh White, 8, explains how to make lip gloss from crayons.
Dr. Carrie McCray, WWU associate professor, and Victoria Honigman, a biology education major from Shelbyville, Ill., listen as Nataleigh White, 8, explains how to make lip gloss from crayons.

William Woods University students and professors recently judged the Kingdom Christian Academy science fair.

“I have always enjoyed science fairs, and when I was invited to help judge, I was excited to see the kids get so involved,” Victoria Honigman, a biology education major from Shelbyville, Ill., said.

“I enjoyed giving those kids the fun experience they deserved, and I hope they continue to grow and ask questions about the world around

Aden Koelling, 10, tells Dr. Mary Spratt, professor emeritus of biology at WWU, and  Jodie Dolan, a pre-vet major from Westphalia, Mo., about his magnets project.
Aden Koelling, 10, tells Dr. Mary Spratt, professor emeritus of biology at WWU, and
Jodie Dolan, a pre-vet major from Westphalia, Mo., about his magnets project.

them, knowing the answers are just an experiment away.”

The science fair was open to students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade, although only fifth through eighth graders were required to participate. The students were allowed to choose between performing an experiment or demonstration or researching a topic of their choice. The projects ranged from the making lip gloss from crayons to research on the dental aging of a horse.

“I found the whole experience quite enjoyable and interesting,” said Jodie Dolan, a pre-vet major from Westphalia, Mo. “Hopefully the kids learned how to use their time wisely and learned a lot about the reasons why their experiments worked the way they did.”

Samantha Brolaski of Perry, Mo., and Cassie Dunn of San Diego, judge 13-year-old Ben Bradley’s egg drop science project.
Samantha Brolaski of Perry, Mo., and Cassie Dunn of San Diego, judge 13-year-old Ben Bradley’s egg drop science project.

Students were judged on several criteria, including whether they could explain the science behind the experiment, whether it was a reasonable experiment for their age and the overall knowledge of the project.

This is the fourth time William Woods students have participated in judging the science fair. Dr. Joe Kyger, assistant professor of chemistry, first got involved in 2009 when a parent from Kingdom Christian Academy approached him.

“Every single person benefits from this,” Kyger said. “The students get exposure as professionals, and the experience the contestants get with the judging team is a wonderful interaction.”

Madison Davis, 14, explains dental aging of a horse to Samantha Brolaski.; Pastor Bill Newton, a KCA board member; and Cassie Dunn.
Madison Davis, 14, explains dental aging of a horse to Samantha Brolaski.; Pastor Bill Newton, a KCA board member; and Cassie Dunn.

Kyger said that it is important to participate because the college students are scientists in the eyes of the younger students.

“You can show them what they can accomplish if they apply themselves.”

Interaction with the young students gave them a different perspective and an invaluable experience, and Kyger hopes to have the same opportunity at next year’s science fair.

“Anytime our students can get out into the community, it’s a positive experience.”