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Morning Sun
  • Not-so-mad scientists

  • Lakeside Elementary School fifth grader Andrew Riachi’s dad is a physicist. Naturally, Riachi soaked up his father’s love of science and made it his own.

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  • Lakeside Elementary School fifth grader Andrew Riachi’s dad is a physicist. Naturally, Riachi soaked up his father’s love of science and made it his own.
    On Thursday, Riachi and 43 other Lakeside students demonstrated science projects they had constructed over the past several weeks. Set up in the gymnasium, there were baking soda volcanoes, electric pickles, rockets and bubbles, among others. Riachi built an example of Lord Kelvin’s battery, which uses positively and negatively charged streams of water to cause a spark.
    “It took about a day to build, to cut the pipes and add the cans and wires,” Riachi said, adding that his dad’s love of science had rubbed off on him in spades.
    “He convinced me,” Riachi said. “He showed me all this cool stuff and I got interested in it. I’m also really interested in computers.”
    Hosted by the PTO, Lakeside typically holds a science fair every year unless, such as last year during a heavy snow storm, circumstances prevent it. This year’s fair was a success, PTO Secretary and fair organizer Brandy Olivera said.
    “It’s the best turnout I’ve seen since I’ve been doing this,” Olivera said.
    The fair is open to students in all grades, and the kids get the holiday break to sit down with their parents, formulate a project — it can be whatever they like — and see it through.
    “This provides a really good opportunity for kids and parents to work together and learn about science,” Olivera said. “And what I’ve noticed is that the parents are taking as much of an interest as their kids, and that’s good to see.”
    Fifth grader Aiden Harries found his experiment, The Invisible Bubble, online. In it, he tests whether corn syrup makes tougher bubbles when added to bubble solution than it does mixed with lemon juice.
    “I looked online for ideas, and I found this and thought it would be fun,” Harries said, adding that it took about a week to put the project — including cutting out and gluing the plastic bubbles — together.
    Harries said he wanted to participate because he had not done so in the past.
    “It’s my last year at Lakeside, and I wanted to see what it’s like,” he said.
    First grader Garrett Hanson showed students how to make volcanoes out of baking soda. His grandfather is a chemistry teacher in Iola, and helped him put his project together over the holidays.
    Hanson’s mother, Kerri, said she was impressed with the fair.
    “It’s very entertaining with all the ideas the kids have come up with to share,” she said.

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