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Budding scientists display work during Lanigan science fair

The Lanigan Elementary School gymnasium looked more like a world-class science center Feb. 14, as fourth-graders displayed a variety of projects during the second annual science fair.

Mary Jane Mullaney, a fourth-grader at Lanigan Elementary School, displays her project on the solar system during a science fair Feb. 14.
Mary Jane Mullaney, a fourth grader at Lanigan Elementary School, displays her project on the solar system during a science fair Feb. 14.

Nearly 60 budding scientists in the school’s three fourth grade classes lined the gymnasium with projects focusing on weather-related phenomena to the solar system and everything in between.

Students were tasked with developing an experiment, following the scientific method to form the hypothesis, test that prediction and assess their findings. The project culminated with a presentation during the science fair.

For fourth grader Olivia Saunderson, the project provided her an opportunity to learn more about the snow that has been blanketing the county all winter long. She presented her findings on the amount of water that is in snow once it is melted down.

“I did two trials over a couple of days,” Saunderson said. “I collected 3 inches of snow from outside and put it in a cylinder for it to melt inside. I found that for me to get 1 inch of water, I would have to collect 12 inches of snow.”

Another weather project that proved to be a popular destination for parents and students who attended the science fair was Nick Regensburger’s “tornado in a bottle.”

Lanigan Elementary School fourth grader Nick Regensburger shows off his tornado in a bottle as part of his presentation during the grade-wide science fair Feb. 14 in the school gymnasium.
Lanigan Elementary School fourth grader Nick Regensburger shows off his tornado in a bottle as part of his presentation during the grade-wide science fair Feb. 14 in the school gymnasium.

The fourth grader said the topic piqued his interest when he heard about the devastating tornadoes that ripped through Oklahoma City in May.

“I remember hearing about the tornadoes in Oklahoma and I wanted to do a bottle tornado project,” Regensburger said, noting that he looked through a science book and found a similar project.

Students also experimented with electricity and conductivity, chemical reactions and more.

According to fourth-grade teacher Samantha Finocchiaro, the students’ work exceeded expectations.

“This group is outstanding,” she said. “I’m really impressed with their hard work. They were able to work on their presentation skills. I’ve seen them mature throughout the process. It’s been great to watch them grow.”