Bates sponsors Lewiston High's 11th annual Science Fair

The 11th annual Lewiston High School Science Fair takes place in the high school gymnasium, 156 East Ave., starting at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 13. Continuing a long relationship between Bates and the high school, the Harward Center for Community Partnerships at Bates sponsors this year’s event, and two Bates students are helping to coordinate the fair. (Please note that the event is not open to the public.)

The event gives some 250 high school sophomores the opportunity to create research projects across a wide spectrum of topics. Last year’s winning projects studied the effects of different teaching styles; accuracy on goal in lacrosse; the efficacy of antibacterial hand sanitizers; and the efficiency of airfoils.

The projects are assessed by judges from Bates and the community.

Mandatory for 10th-graders at the high school, participation in the fair is beneficial in many ways, explains Laurie Haines, a science teacher at LHS and the event’s coordinator. Putting together a research project builds skills in problem solving and critical thinking, and in oral and written expression.

“Those students who take the fair seriously really gain an appreciation for the hard work that goes into solving scientific problems,” she says.

“The fair allows students to use the tools from their introductory courses to investigate something that they are interested in,” adds Andrew Kageleiry of Dover, N.H., one of the two Bates sophomores working with Haines. “While it’s important to learn about abstract concepts like atomic theory or DNA, these projects give the students a chance to tangibly pursue an idea of their own choosing.”

Kageleiry’s partner in the project is Colby Maldini of New Castle, N.H. Says Haines, “I could not run the fair without them. The event has evolved into a true partnership.”

The Bates coordinators, she explains, “create the spreadsheets for student projects, plan the gym placement of exhibits, register the students and most importantly, recruit numerous judges for the event.”

“Organizing an event like this is great experience for college students,” she says, adding that “our sophomores truly enjoy the interactions with the college students, and everyone who helps out has a positive influence on our student body.”

Winners will be invited to an afternoon at Bates, including lunch in Commons and a tour of the college’s science laboratories.

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