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Hundreds of young scientists take part in the 31st Annual GATEway Science Fair

Jaclyn Harold
Created: February 22, 2020 07:49 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- On Saturday, over 200 young residents brought their curiosities to life at Mayo Clinic.

"Sometimes I'm right, sometimes I'm wrong," said Nihaad Sheikhibrahim, a sixth-grader and veteran to the 31st Annual GATEway Science Fair.

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Third and sixth grade students conducted experiments with the freedom of choosing something that interests them. After deciding on a topic, students applied the scientific method to their idea and presented their results to science professionals.

"I'm always amazed at what kids can come up with, and to see the kids and how excited they are, that's to me one of the biggest things," said Ginny Amundson, co-president of the GATEway Science Fair. 

Amundson said it is really important to continue encouraging the participants to keep thinking and experimenting, which is why the science fair is not a competition, "We really want this to be learning, and all kids, I mean just by doing a science fair project they're a winner," said Amundson.

The science fair took over two levels of the Gonda Building and each group rotated between sharing their projects with the judges, and sharing them with their friends.

"I took four plants, I grew one with water, one with milk, one with soda and one with microwaved water," said Dehan Epps, a third-grader who presented for the first time this year without his sister. 

When talking about why he was so interested in the way plants grow, Epps shared that his project was actually inspired by a conversation about milk, "I asked my dad if milk can help me, does it help plants too," said Epps, and unfortunately he found out that it doesn't.

"I was doing the milk one, and eventually it started stinking and rotting and wouldn't take anymore milk and then we just had to throw it away because it was too stinky," said Epps.

Sheikhibrahim, on the other hand, has been involved in the GATEway Science fair since she was in the third-grade. She told ABC 6 News that her project was inspired by research, "I definitely thought that the pop would rot the egg, or 'my teeth' more, but I was actually wrong and the vinegar did," said Sheikhibrahim.

Amundson said it's the excitement on each participant's face when explaining the thought behind their experiment that makes her happy to provide a learning experience for the children in the community, and she's always looking forward to what the kids will come up with next. 


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