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Science fair extended to grades K through 5 at Jefferson West

A red-tailed boa constrictor and a ball python excited children attending the Jefferson West Science Fair Friday. They were brought to the elementary school by high school biology teacher Rena Kilgore assisted by junior Joseph HillA red-tailed boa constrictor and a ball python excited children attending the Jefferson West Science Fair Friday. They were brought to the elementary school by high school biology teacher Rena Kilgore assisted by junior Joseph Hill

Story and photo by Clarke Davis

What do mussels, boa constrictors, simple circuits and recycling all have in common?

They were all involved in sessions taught to kindergartners through fifth-graders at the annual Jefferson West Science Day.

Always an exciting attraction are Cleopatra and Gemini, a red-tailed boa constrictor and a ball python, brought to the elementary school by high school biology teacher Rena Kilgore. She was assisted by Joseph Hill, a junior.

She spent time talking to the children about cells, tissue, and organs and also brought a couple of salamanders, called axolotl. One had been genetically altered in the laboratory to glow in the dark.

Over 350 students participated in sessions designed to meet local and state science standards. Close to 100 volunteers ranging from parents, community members and high school staff and students participated in presenting lessons and helping assist students to create projects related to their science outcomes.

“This was truly a community effort,” said teacher Jody Lockhart, who has headed the science fair the last few years at the intermediate school in Ozawkie before it closed.

Each grade level attended three classroom sessions and three sessions in an exhibit hall. In the exhibit hall, the students had opportunities to create hands-on projects such as dog puppets and frog life cycles in the K-1 exhibit hall, explore with magnets and excavate army men “fossils” from cookies in the 2-3 exhibit hall, and race balloons and make lava lamps in the 4-5 exhibit hall.

All together there were 20 instructional sessions and 26 hands-on exhibits.

Due to a grant from the Jefferson West Education Foundation in the amount of $800, the Science Day was able to expand to encompass more grades. Previously, the opportunity was provided just to fourth- and fifth-grade students. The Jefferson West Education Foundation hosted a poker tournament last year and the proceeds from that fundraiser went into two grants given to fourth-grade teachers Jan Wells and Lockhart.

The poker tournament will be returning this year as well as a golf tournament, which will be held Oct. 23. To participate in the golf tournament, contact Wes Sturgeon at wes.sturgeon@usd340.org or at 785-221-5188.

Short URL: http://www.jeffcountynews.com/?p=2143

Posted by on Oct 16 2010. Filed under Jefferson West School District, Schools, The Vindicator. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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