Students Test Their Scientific Prowess

The morning of the science fair, seventh and eighth grade students arrived early. The gym, usually occupied by children deftly weaving through obstacle courses and dodging balls, was filled with the sights and sounds of middle schoolers excitedly putting finishing touches on their project displays–the culmination of months of asking questions, conducting research, forming hypotheses, observing results, and drawing conclusions–before their families and classmates arrived. 
Shortly after visitors entered, the presentations began. Bennet G., Bellamy S., and Abigail D. strummed guitars they made out of mycelium. The whir of a drone built by Sanders B., Marko T., and Preston C. could be heard as it hovered above. Sophie L., who explored non-medicine-based behavioral interventions as a means of alleviating the effects of ADHD, including exercise, caffeine, lying horizontally, and listening to music, shared her findings. Archie A., Mateo P., and Tanner G. explored different chemical reactions–ethyl alcohol & vapor, water & pressurized air, and even Mentos and soda–as alternative fuel sources to power small vehicles. 

Jackson K. and Carson L. presented their project, a middle-school-science-fair-worthy exploration of decomposition reactions titled Elephant Toothpaste. Classmates gathered around the table in anticipation of the fair’s grand finale as Jackson and Carson combined the hydrogen peroxide with yeast, dish soap, potassium iodide crystals, and a bit of food coloring for good measure, a seemingly innocuous blend (to the less scientifically-minded among us) that resulted in an overflowing of steaming bubbles. Over the oohing and aahing of children, science teacher Nick Frankfurt could be heard: “It’s not magic, kids. It’s science.”
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Grace Church School is a co-educational independent school in downtown Manhattan, New York City providing instruction for nearly 800 students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12.