A passion for science led two French Run Elementary School teachers to plan the school's first science fair, held March 19 for third- and fourth-grade students.

A passion for science led two French Run Elementary School teachers to plan the school's first science fair, held March 19 for third- and fourth-grade students.

Co-coordinated by third-grade teacher Teresa Smith and fourth-grade teacher Annette Hawley, the fair's purpose was to help students demonstrate what they know about science and be evaluated on their projects.

"I am passionate about science and so is Mrs. Hawley," Smith said. "It's something we came up with over the summer and said, 'why don't we put together a science fair and see what we could get the students to want to do?'

"It's one of our standards -- scientific inquiry -- and we thought it would be a great way to show the kids another side of learning," she said.

In October, students began learning the process of selecting what their questions would be for their projects, designing hypotheses, using variables, materials and procedures, Smith explained.

Fourth-grade student Mathew Wilson took three toilet paper tubes, one filled with nothing, one with rocks in it and one with sand in it to see which would support his weight when he stood on each individually.

His hypothesis told him maybe the one with rocks in it would hold him, but it actually broke apart, as did the tube with air in it.

He discovered the tube with sand in it held his weight. From that, he said he learned what construction workers can use to put inside pillars to make them strong and support buildings.

Third-grader Ashley Luna demonstrated what happens to three slices of regular bread, one with water poured in it, one with a damp paper towel on it and one with nothing done to it, over 12 days.

Her hypothesis told her the slice with the damp paper towel on it would produce mold in 12 days.

She discovered her hypothesis was correct: The slice with the damp paper towel did grow mold, while the dry slice did not and the one with water in it just dissolved.

Third-grade student Reya Weibel's project involved using four different brands of kosher dill pickles. She put screws at the ends of each, then attached metal clips and plugged them into an electric outlet to find out which one would glow the brightest.

She discovered the one would glow the brightest had the most sodium in it, which was also the cheapest of the four brands.

Fourth-grader Kiara Farrell draped a different colored piece of cellophane over four regular houseplants with a white light above each to see how each plant's growth would be affected over a five-week period.

The colors she used on each were green, blue, red, and white, or transparent piece of cellophane.

Farrell said she thought the blue cellophane would help plants grow the best but her experiment proved that the white cellophane was more useful.

She found the reason the white light worked best at making the plant grow was because plants are used to white light instead of other colored lights, and a white light is made up of all of the colors of the rainbow.

Hawley said overall, the fair's purpose was to teach students a step-by-step process of working through a problem and being able to articulate their ideas in front of an adult.

Each student received a certificate for participating in the science fair.