MDC congratulates four schools on winning its 2017 science fair

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) congratulates Williams Elementary School in Springfield, Green Ridge RVIII in Green Ridge, Liberty Middle School in Liberty, and Parkview High School in Springfield on having some of their students recently win the MDC 2017 Discover Nature Schools (DNS) Science Fair.

MDC received 17 entries from seven schools with 48 student participants. Winning entries were:

  • Primary School Category: Williams Elementary School second-grade class won for their project on “What materials cause static electricity on fur?” where they rubbed together balloons and other items and then tested to see if they created static electricity.
  • Elementary School Category: Fifth-grader Savannah Nilson of Green Ridge RVIII won for her project on “Tree Leaf Chromatography” in which she determined through an experiment that hickory leaves turn yellow in the fall. Chromatography is a method of separating and analyzing mixtures of chemicals.
  • Middle School Category: Addison Vallier, Dylan James, and Sophia Ferguson from Liberty Middle School won for developing a bird identification app.
  • High School Category: Trinity Goins, Donovan DelaCruz, La’nyie Chapman, Sommer Closser from Parkview High School won for their project on “How much salt can a fish tolerate?” using an aquarium of goldfish.

Winning schools each receive $250 in DNS equipment and materials they select for their schools.

According to MDC, students take concepts and information they learn in the classroom and put them into action through science projects for the science fair to pursue science topics that interest them and to explore their questions about nature.

MDC worked with teachers and education consultants to create the statewide conservation-education program called Discover Nature Schools (DNS). DNS teaches students from pre-K through high school about Missouri’s native plants, animals, and habitats, and connects them with nature. The DNS program meets the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education state academic standards. One of the best ways for students to learn about nature is to interact with the outdoors. DNS emphasizes hands-on learning, teaches problem-solving, and provides learning opportunities in the outdoors. Student books, teacher guides, and training workshops are available for free from MDC to Missouri educators, along with additional resources such as grant opportunities for equipment and field trips.

For more information on Discover Nature Schools, visit MDC online at