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School readies for science festival


West Valley Middle School is moving away from the traditional science fair and is experimenting with the first-ever one-day school-wide science festival.

“A science fair is more of a solitary act,” said event organizer Laura Crowley, seventh-grade science teacher at WVMS. “Unfortunately, it seems the parents end up doing an awful lot of the work.”

Crowley said she doesn’t know of a similar event in Knox County.

For one day, Thursday, May 4, all classes will focus on science, whether the class is language arts, music or math. To insure participation, every student in the school is required to sign up to participate in one of eight or nine categories, Crowley said.

Parents, teachers and students will be able to inspect mousetrap car inventions, as well as catapults that really work. Science photography contest winners will be on display. Winners of the Pringles challenge and the invention challenge will show off their projects. Students will be posing as famous scientists — a sort of wax museum — in the library. Even typical science fair projects will be on display.

In addition to displaying their own work, guest speakers from the University of Tennessee’s chemistry and astronomy departments, as well as an anatomy professor from Pellissippi State Technical Community College, and possibly a forensics expert from UT will talk to the students.

 

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