Interactive fair shows fun side of science

High school students made science and math fun at Munising High School Friday night.  The school hosted its first science fair since 2005.

Around 80 students created interactive projects that demonstrated physics and chemistry.  Kids, parents and community members were able to walk around and view exhibits.

“The project about angular momentum is giving some demonstrations, kind of giving kids an insight to what angular momentum is,” Ian Stampfly, a senior at Munising High School said.

Stampfly demonstrated his project with metal top-like figures that spun around on the table.  “(Angular momentum) is more of an effect, rather than an actual thing you can see,” he said.

Another student, Jenna Hach, had a table set up to demonstrate sound.  Hach had a keyboard, tuning forks and glasses filled with water to show that sound can move.

“We chose sound because kids don’t really understand that even though you can’t see sound, it can still move,” Hach said.  “We want to make sure that they know it’s different movements within that causes sound.”

The fair was created as a way to get younger children excited about science, and show that high school science can be a lot of fun.

“We have a problem in this country where we don’t have enough students that are going into science fields,” Mandy Frantti, a physics, astronomy and math teacher at Munising High School said.  “Even for the young children, if they’re exposed early to what science really can be, especially when it’s coming from other students, they can really respond.”

“I think it gives younger kids an insight to what’s out there, what you can possibly learn, and as an opportunity to take when you get older,” Stampfly said.  “And, it keeps them interested in science.”

Besides demonstrations, there were prizes and games to keep families entertained.  There was also a Star Lab and information from two visiting astronomers who spoke to the students yesterday about the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory mission.