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5th grade STEM Derby winners, L-R Pella, Gethers, Owens

Buford Senior Academy’s science department hosted its annual science fair on the evening of Thursday, Jan. 27. The school’s cafeteria was an exciting explosion of inspiration featuring projects from 39 fourth graders and 38 fifth graders. 

“Projects were brought in on Wednesday, Jan. 26, and judged by BSA science fair committee members,” said Rachel McDaniel, BSA teacher and science fair organizer. “Finalists for each grade level were announced by the end of the school day. The finalists, nine fourth graders and eight fifth graders, were interviewed the next day by community judges. Final winners were determined by community judges.” 

In conjunction with the fair, the school held its inaugural STEM Derby competition in the school’s gym. 

“The BSA STEM Derby is meant to inspire critical thinking skills and passion for innovation,” the website explained. 

Separate from the science fair, the STEM Derby competition allowed students to build a derby car using only recycled or upcycled materials. 

The rules stated students could not use any store-bought or pre-made wheels, and the cars could weigh no more than 10 ounces, could be no wider or longer than 12 inches and no taller than six inches. The derby car entries were scrutinized before the competition, whose object was to create a car to travel the farthest distance on a wooden ramp.

In addition to competing in the distance competition, students were able to enter their derby cars in a design competition, and students and staff voted for their favorite car from photo entries submitted.

Congratulations to the following students recognized as science fair and STEM Derby winners:

Fourth grade STEM Derby winners

Fourth grade STEM Derby winners

First place went to Noah Yun, whose car traveled 31 feet, 4 1/2 inches. Second place went to Nathan Yun, whose car traveled 17 feet, 4 inches. Third place went to Maddon McNeil whose car traveled 16 feet, 7 inches.

Fifth grade STEM Derby winners

First place went to Cason Owens, whose car traveled 31 feet, 11 inches. Second place went to Dylan Gethers, whose car traveled 21 feet, 6 inches. Third place went to Lyra Pella whose car traveled 12 feet, 6 1/2 inches.

STEM Derby design winners

  • First place — Cason Owens, fifth grade
  • Second place — Nathan Yun, fourth grade
  • Third place — Alyssa Culican, fifth grade
Fourth grade science fair winners

Fourth grade Science Fair winners

First place went to Abbie Florence Chrisman in Mrs. Austin’s class and Hailey Hunt from Mrs. Sibley’s class for their project titled “Which chip produces the most grease?”

Second place went to Grace Hoffman in Mrs. Austin’s class for her project titled “Gross! Which has the most germs (Mom’s keyboard or the remote)?”

Third place went to Max Charapoo in Dr. Weeks’ class for his project titled “Which type of fabric produces the most static electricity?”

Fifth grade science fair winners

Fifth grade Science Fair winners

First place went to Silvana Fuoco and Nyla Page from Mrs. Graham’s class for their project titled “What sugar makes the biggest rock candy?”

Second place went to Nathan Allen from Mr. Novales’ class and Kai Deweese from Mrs. McDaniel’s class for their project titled “Does wingspan design or nose cone mass cause a paper airplane to fly further?”

Third place went to Avi Bennett in Mrs. Buffo’s class for her project titled “What type of ice cream melts the fastest?”

FEATURED PHOTO: Fifth grade winners in the Buford Senior Academy STEM Derby pose for a photo. 

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