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Students share experiments at Science Extravaganza at Progress

At Progress Elementary School, the typical science fair has been promoted.

Principal Matthew Chisholm said for the past two years, the school has invited science-based companies to show students what kind of careers they could find in science.

“It’s more than just a science fair,” Chisholm said.

Now, it’s a Science Extravaganza.

Thursday night, the third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students brought their experiments to their classrooms, where parents, teachers and other students could walk through and ask the young scientists questions.

Each student started with a question, such as, “What freezes faster, hot or cold water?” or, “What brand of microwave popcorn pops the best?” or, “What brand of breath mint lasts the longest?”

All of them made a prediction, included data and came up with a conclusion.

Third-grader Issac Richardson wondered what soft drinks do to your teeth. He thought that since it has more sugar Mountain Dew would do the most damage to your teeth.

He put four of his baby teeth in different soft drinks for 24 hours. One tooth was in a cup of water, one in Mountain Dew, one in Pepsi and another in a cup of another brown soda.

Isaac was surprised at his findings.

“This both split it in half and (the tooth) is brown,” he said of the tooth that soaked in Pepsi. The tooth in Mountain Dew just turned yellow.

Third-graders Emily Abraham and Manisha Milton tested which fruits can transmit the most energy to a battery.

They hooked up lemons, apples, bananas, limes, oranges and even a tomato to a battery which registered the voltage received. They found they could charge the battery the most using a bunch of lemons.

“It was fun to do because we got to test a whole bunch,” Emily said.

During the event, students could watch an experiment from Mobius Science Center or visit rooms with representatives from the Spokane Astronomy Association, Spokane Regional Solid Waste, Spokane County Utilities, Water Resources, BNSF Operation Lifesaver, which teaches railroad safety, Spokane Aquifer Joint Board and EPJ Orthodontics.

Chisholm said bringing these organizations in is part of career and college readiness, with the hope that some students would get interested in a career in science. All of them had hands-on activities for the students.

Progress, in the Central Valley School District, also invited representatives from Spokane Valley Tech. They brought in robots students had made, circuit boards that lit up when you conducted power through them, objects made with a 3-D printer and wooden boxes students had carved and engraved using computer-aided design.

“Maybe we’ll plant a seed down the road,” said Scott Oakshott, director of Spokane Valley Tech.

Emily said she used to want to be a scientist, but recently changed her mind to a veterinarian.

“I want to help animals around the world,” she said.

Students qualify for music festival

The Northeast chapter of the Washington Music Educators Association held its 2014 Solo & Ensemble Festival on Feb. 1 at University High School. Musicians from schools in Spokane Valley received honors

• West Valley: Kayla DeVleming, first place in low clarinet division and will compete at the state competition in April; the percussion quartet of DD Cloy, Xander McMinn, Jake McNorton and Rayanne Spang placed third and is second alternate for state; the woodwind quartet of Kelly Clinton, Sydney Jones, Taylor Roderick and Molly Wachtel received a superior rating.

Several other students received excellent ratings for their performances.

• University: Arianna Birch, string bass solo winner, will compete at state; Bryce Dale, baritone saxophone solo winner will compete at state; Richele Stahofsky, violin first alternate to state; the flute trio of Nicole Bridge, Anna Edlund and Jordan Willson is second alternate to state; the Chamber Orchestra is the second alternate to state; the percussion duet of Cuinn Fey and Garret Grothaus is the first alternate to state.

• Central Valley: The following students qualified for the state competition: Andrew Peltonen, alto saxophone; the flute sextet of Katy Dolan, Melissa Morgan, Jane Merriman, Libby Adkins, Erica Poulson and Gayle Hammersley; Jacob Ross, trumpet; Mariah Reneau, horn; Chip Harbin, euphonium; Jackson Neal, tuba; the Fred Rogers Memorial Brass Quintet of Mitchell McCarty, Nick Putnam, Emily McCarty, Harbin and Neal; Jared Hunt, snare drum; Austin Davis, multiple percussion; Alyssa Peck, marimba; Double Take Percussion Ensemble of Peck, Austin Nguyen, Zach Evans, Robert Johnson, Casie Stephen-Harris, Cassidy Freeman, Shane Whitecotton, Bryan Wilson, Alex Judge, and Wryan Parr; Riley Madrian, violin; John Rouse, viola; Mackenzie O’Dea, cello; Brooke Haggerty, piano.

Alternates to state are: Nancy Fu, piano; Matt Reeves, viola; the CV Tuba Quartet; Taylor Morlock, snare and marimba; Spencer Jensen, euphonium; Caitlin Shirley, horn; CV Clarinet Octet; CV Saxophone Quartet; Kyle Wang, clarinet; Henry Jiao, clarinet; CV Chamber Orchestra.

• East Valley: The following students qualified for the state competition: Elisha Allred, soprano; Katlyn Kelley, mezzo soprano; Curtis Denmark, tenor; Allred and Denmark, small mixed vocal ensemble, Women’s Vocal Quartet; Encore, East Valley Large String Ensemble; Whitney Quartet, East Valley Small String Ensemble.

Super spirit

Students at Bowdish Middle School in the Central Valley School District showed their team pride before the Super Bowl last week wearing the colors of their favorite team.

More than 350 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders formed a human Seahawks logo in the school’s gym, along with a bright green 12. Each of them received a package of Skittles, the favorite candy of Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch.

The school didn’t leave out the Denver Broncos fans. About 15 students and teachers came to school in their orange and blue. Seattle fans gave them Butterfinger candy bars, with the hopes their team would have slippery fingers for the big game.