Students ready to hypothesize for New Albany-Plain Local science fair

Gary Seman Jr.
ThisWeek group
Tanvi Maloo (front) and Nicholas Thompson, two fifth-graders at New Albany Intermediate School, will compete in this year's New Albany-Plain Local science fair, which begins this month. Students whose work receives a superior rating can advance to a regional contest.

For Nicholas Thompson and Tanvi Maloo, two fifth-graders at New Albany Intermediate School, the basis for each of their science fair projects was personal.

Nicholas, an avid golfer, wanted to find out which balls were more suited to his game.

Tanvi's father, Sumit, was diagnosed with a blood clot in his leg, so she began researching a project on anticoagulation.

Even without the fancy display boards and chemical reactions, the districtwide science fair rolls on this year.

New Albany-Plain Local students in grades 5-12 can submit their completed projects – some as individuals and others as teams – from Feb. 12 to March 1, first offering a presentation to their classmates and judgment by their individual science teachers.

Teacher Peter Barnes, a fifth-grade teacher at the intermediate school, said the days of the erupting volcano as a project are fading quickly.

“The kids who really work at it tend to do really well,” said Barnes, who is co-chairing the New Albany program with colleague Jenny Taylor, also a fifth-grade science teacher at the intermediate school, which is for students in grades 4-6.

Students, who were not required to participate, were given specific instructions on presentation, research and other supporting material and a thorough explanation of their work.

Two additional science fairs will follow this year, but they will be virtual because of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Barnes said. Students who receive a superior rating in New Albany will quality for a central Ohio fair, which will be followed by a statewide contest April 20-27, he said.

Students must upload their projects on YouTube using slide presentations and narrations explaining their work.

“Every year, they come up with some cool stuff,” Barnes said.

Nicholas said his project involved five types of golf balls, which were dissected by his grandfather.

His choice, labeled No. 3, was made for distance. For his father, Nate, the ball labeled No. 4 worked better because it combined distance with the ability to create a backspin, better for his father’s advanced skills, he said.

Nicholas, 10, even consulted a representative from a golf-equipment manufacturer for guidance.

“It was cool,” he said of the project. “It was super fun to see the inside of the balls.”

Tanvi said she followed the process of her father getting diagnosed with a blood clot, which caused him physical pain and cut off circulation to his lower leg.

She said the doctor sucked out the clot and put her dad on blood thinners. She said they walked nearly every day, so the ailment came as a surprise.

“I was thinking why it happened because out of nowhere he got his pain and couldn’t walk,” she said.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary