Tucumcari Municipal School’s annual Science Fair has convened at the Tucumcari Convention Center and budding scientists from fourth through 12th grades are displaying their scientific knowledge ranging from growing plants to making thermometers, to discussing magnetic fields.
This year’s fair even has active volcanoes and baking soda in bottles blowing up balloons. According to Middle School science instructor Suzy McKinney “well over” two hundred young people will have displays up to show some of the ideas that they are working on in the field of science.
McKinney said that many of the teachers in the district actually require some attempt be made at the science fair to foster an interest in science and to possibly let the students go deeper into a field of science in which they are interested.
She said it can also help a student’s grade if he or she were to do well in the fair or even show a concerted attempt.
For last year’s winner of the local science fair, Nikki Harman, it is more than that. She said for her the whole concept moves beyond those goals. For her, she said it provides her with something of a challenge. “Science fair to me,” said Harman, “means hard work on something to find out new stuff.” Harman is a third generation of science fair winner.
McKinney said actual displays are, for the most part, confined to fourth through eighth grades. The ninth through the 12th grades are called upon to submit research papers dealing with scientific topics. The projects for the science fair were due in the convention center Tuesday before 7 p.m. in order to be judged.
The judges come by to examine the science projects this morning (Wednesday) between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Then between 3 and 5 p.m. teachers will be permitted in to look at the displays and then between 5 and 7 p.m. the general public will be allowed to look at the different projects.
McKinney said that following 7 p.m. students with displays may pick up them up and if they are unable to pick them up on Wednesday, they can also pick them up before 10 a.m. Thursday.
“Any projects that are not picked up by 10 a.m. Thursday will be discarded,” said McKinney.