Stanly County students earn honors for science, engineering efforts

Published 2:42 pm Monday, January 8, 2024

Twenty entries from Stanly County Schools students in grades 3-8 were on display Jan. 6 at the system’s annual Science and Engineering Fair at Oakboro Choice STEM School.

“First, second and third place winners, plus those earning honorable mention, will advance to the District 6 Regional Science Fair, which is a virtual event to be held on Feb. 10,” said Jennifer Crawford, STEM coach at Oakboro.

Although the event was open to students throughout SCS, students from only three of the system’s schools (Endy, Locust, and Oakboro) submitted entries.

“This is our second year back post-COVID,” Crawford said, “and we are excited to have 20 entries in two divisions (elementary and middle school).”

Fellow Oakboro STEM students Lexi Gregor, Kynlee Harris and Anslee Yow placed first in the middle school division for their exhibit. (Photo by TOBY THORPE)

Top honors in the middle school division went to the team of Lexi Gregor, Kynlee Harris, and Anslee Yow. The three Oakboro STEM students conducted an experiment to explore alternate sources of electricity, titled “Ah, It’s Dark!”

Callee Yow, also an Oakboro STEM student, captured first place in the elementary division, completing a project to determine best practices for prevention of flooding damage through stormwater drainage. Her exhibit was titled “Flood Busters.”

“Our judging panel consisted of two retired high school science teachers, one local businessman and one high school student from an early college program,” said Crawford, who added that exhibits were judged anonymously.

“We numbered the exhibits and removed or covered any mention of the students’ names until after judging was complete,” she said.

Scoring criteria used by the judges mirrored that used in subsequent levels of competition.

“The criteria include a research question, design and methodology, execution, creativity, and the exhibit itself,” Crawford noted. “The final criterium, an interview, was not done at this level, but will be a part of the scoring at the next levels.”

Toby Thorpe is a freelance writer for The Stanly News & Press.