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Ellicottville Students ‘Nerd Out’ at the Expo!

egg drop

By Louisa Benatovich

ECS Student Reporter

Every year, the ECS Math, Science, and Technology Exposition is a blast for students of all ages. On May 15, ECS took “blasting” to a whole new level! With a multitude of unique exhibits, this Expo may have been the best one yet.

Upon entering the Expo, fizzes, bangs, pops, whirs, and cracks were among the sounds that could be heard echoing throughout the newly-opened Ward. The sixth graders, aided by their science teacher Chelsea Cole, were large contributors to the cacophony of scientific noise. Constructing volcanoes out of various crafting supplies, they made the mounds “erupt” using baking soda and vinegar. When asked what her favorite part of the experiment was, Cameron Kaleta screamed, “Watching them explode!”

Wandering around the fair, there was a variety of not only sounds, but smells. Karl Schwartz’s chemistry students performed a color changing acid-base experiment using cabbage juice and vinegar. The smell was an incomparable experience; a combination of cauliflower and skunk.

Abby Donoghue, another chemistry student, instructed a Make-Your-Own Bath Bomb exhibit. Using corn starch, citric acid, lovely-smelling herbal essence, and a few other ingredients, the sophomore made over 50 colorful bath bombs for students to take home. Proudly observing, Schwartz made some remarks about the occasion. “This science, math, and technology Expo is a great event that exemplifies a small chunk of the year of learning, experimenting, and challenging the minds of our students,” said Schwartz. “Student and teacher pride is sure to be part of the evening as students show off new skills, concepts, experiments, and results.”20180515_191551

The student-led activities and experiments were certainly one of the Expo’s true highlights. Katie Krotz, along with Olivia Bacon, both seventh graders, demonstrated the ever-astounding “Hot Ice,” a supersaturated solution of vinegar and baking soda that forms crystals when boiled. “I haven’t yet mastered the art of crystal-making,” said Krotz, gesturing to a printed image of a perfectly formed stalagmite, “but I’ll get there.”

Student exhibits ranged all the way from the kindergartener’s “sound-waves” made from yarn and plastic straws, to an invisible ink activity, snap circuits, foil penny-boats, and the second graders’ recycled robots.

Chris Edwards, the under-appreciated and extremely capable organizer of the event, had both his Architectural Design and Robotics/Engineering classes exhibit their projects for the year. The design class displayed wooden prototype houses with real world features constructed by hand. The Robotics class had hands-on activities including robot constructing and programming.

Ann Chamberlain, in charge of her JCC Statistics class’s M&M counting exhibit, was happy to be a part of the event. “It’s cool to see all ages practicing science,” said the math teacher and resident ECS mindfulness expert, “and, most importantly, having fun!”

The Expo wouldn’t be complete, however, without the timeless, ever-classic egg drop. Performed by Helena Brierton’s Earth Science students and kindly facilitated by the local fire department, this messy experiment is a sure-fire crowd pleaser. “The Ellicottville Science Exposition is a great opportunity for students to highlight what they have learned during the school year, and to share their learning with parents, friends and family members,” said Brierton. “Younger students get the opportunity to engage in various hands-on activities in science and technology. The local fire department members have willingly provided their time and services for the annual egg drop competition in which students drop their egg drop designs from 80 feet up. This year, 20 students in the Earth Science classes at Ellicottville were able to compete.  Three student designs were successful in making the 80 foot plunge. This year’s winners included Noah Steinbroner, Jonah Rust and Alex Hunt.”

Science and technology expositions like these shape the future’s young minds. They wouldn’t be possible without passionate individuals like Chris Edwards, Helena Brierton, and all of ECS’s wonderful teachers and administrators. As the school year draws to a close and everyone, students and teachers, itch for the vacation to start, the Science Expo is a reminder of why students love to learn, and why teachers love to teach them.

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