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Students put science skills on display
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Button Gwinnett third-grader Alena Kirby-Dick tests out a project at Mondays science fair at the Performing Arts Center. She discovered the perfect pitch by using a spoon to tap different bottles. - photo by Photo by Katelyn Umholtz

The Liberty County School System held its second annual science fair May 20 at the Liberty County Performing Arts Center in Flemington.
In attendance were various students from all grade levels, as well as their families and teachers. Most schools participated, including Button Gwinnett Elementary, Snelson-Golden Middle and Liberty County High School.
To earn a spot at the district-level competition, the students had to win at the individual-school level. Their projects then were critiqued by a judging panel comprised of LCSS science teachers.
Executive Director for Teaching and Learning Susan Avant and Elementary Specialist and Testing Coordinator Susan Norce helped to coordinate the event and ensure it ran smoothly.
“There are about 45 projects, and they have just done a beautiful job. They really have. There are some really neat ideas and some very neat questions that they have answered,” Avant said. “There’s everything from what’s the place with the most germs at school to what’s better for bananas in keeping them fresh.”
The event ran from
6-7 p.m., and the winners — one for each grade level — were announced at 6:30 p.m. The honorees were given medals, and their entries now advance to the December state-level competition, where they’ll go up against other top science projects from across Georgia.
Button Gwinnett student Alena Kirby-Dick’s project, titled “Homemade Plastic,” won the third-grade level.
“My project is about the process of turning milk into a plastic disc. I used whole and 1-percent milk and waited about a week for the discs to dry. I had to mix it with vinegar, and every day I had to feel it, to which it felt like Play-Doh or clay,” Kirby-Dick said. “The whole milk was shiny and oily and snapped in half easily. The disc made of 1-percent milk did not break easily, even though it had cracks and holes in it. In the end, my hypothesis was supported.”
Both Avant and Norce agreed that the students worked hard and put a lot of effort into their projects, which benefit them in a number of ways.
“It’s very important at the elementary-, middle- and high-school levels that we develop an interest in science, math, engineering and technology because those are the jobs of the future. That’s what jobs are going to be available whether they’re right out of high-school jobs or college-degree jobs,” Norce said. “We need to get students interested in this.”

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