Tri-Village News

Creative chops on display at Brain Blast

Fair provides students chance to explore their favorite topics

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Thomas Edison would have been proud.

Grandview students displayed their artistic, scientific and creative interests last Thursday, Feb. 28, at the annual Brain Blast, a creativity fair sponsored by the Grandview K-3 PTO and held at Edison Intermediate-Middle School.

The Brain Blast is held to commemorate Edison's birthday.

History was the topic on fifth-grader Calvin Horning's mind -- in particular, the Toledo War of 1835-36.

"It was a small dispute between Ohio and Michigan about an area of land near Toledo," Calvin said, pointing to his display about the event. "They both wanted that land."

Although militias were sent to the territory in dispute, "they really didn't do much fighting. Maybe they had one battle," he said. "About the only person who was hurt was stabbed."

The land ultimately was given to Ohio, but Michigan won its statehood and gained the Upper Peninsula, Calvin said.

"I really think this is where the hatred between Ohio and Michigan began," he said. "It didn't start with football.

"I like studying history because it's interesting to learn about what humans have done in the past," Calvin said.

Third-graders Joe Kessler and Zach Taylor made their Brian Blast display about their favorite animal: the giant panda.

The pals combined their separate collections of stuffed toy pandas with an exhibit providing information about the animal.

"We both just like panda bears," Joe said. "We became friends and found out we both liked them. They're such cute animals."

"And they're so soft," Zach said.

Zach had the privilege of seeing the real thing at the zoo in Washington, D.C.

"That was amazing to see a panda up close," he said. "They have a lot of personality."

The most important message the friends wanted visitors to their exhibit to learn about the giant panda is that it is an endangered species. Only about 1,000 are left in the wild.

"They eat bamboo and the forests where they live are being cut down," Joe said. "It's sad. People need to do more to protect them."

Second-grader Jackson Van Ausdal was endangering M&M's with his experiment.

Jackson asked visitors to put a plate of different-colored M&M's in a microwave oven.

"It's a test to see if one of the colors cracks first," he said. "They can put them in for 19 or 15 or 11 seconds. It's up to them."

In his own first few experiments, the green-colored candies appeared to crack first, Jackson said.

"But then they all started cracking at the same time," he said.

His experiment was getting a lot of participants, but not in the interest of science.

"They just want to eat some M&M's," Jackson said.

First-grader Freddie Keil's display was on a topic befitting the winter season: snow.

"Snowflakes are formed by ice crystals, which have six sides," Freddie said. "No ice crystals are exactly the same. And the colder the air, the fancier the shape of the snowflakes."

While humans suffer from the cold temperatures that come with snow, "animals who live underground like mice or groundhogs are kept warm by the snow. It's like a blanket for them," he said. "That's something I didn't expect."

Freddie said his interest in weather is just warming up.

"I'd like to be a weatherman," he said. "I'd like to be the winter weatherman on TV."

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