This year Maine Coast Waldorf School is sending nine high school students to the Maine State Science Fair—the most the school has ever sent. They will be presenting eight projects across six different categories.
The Maine State Science Fair is an opportunity for all Maine high school students to present original research and engineering projects to a state-wide audience of their peers and mentors including scientists, engineers, mathematicians, teachers, and other STEM professionals. After a remote fair last year, this year’s science fair will be held in person on March 26th at Colby College.
Over the past four years, the school has sent one or two students each year. This year’s increase in interest stems largely from the fact that a third quarter elective was offered for students who wanted to focus on designing their own projects.
“It’s been huge to have that time in school to do that,” explained science teacher and science fair coordinator Kelly Welch.
The time during the school day has offered plenty of opportunities for individualized attention, time to collect data, research time, or time to prepare their presentations. In fact, senior Nora Goldberg-Courtney, who finished in second place last year in the highly competitive Plant Sciences category, came to speak with the participants this year to go over some tips and tricks for their projects.
There’s a wide range of projects this year—everything from a meta analysis of Instagram use and how it affects wellbeing to a project inspired by the recent news of forever chemicals on Maine farms. Two students are also using the sheep that have been housed outside of the high school all year to study slow feeder systems and safer watering systems during the winter months.
Independent projects like these are “such a natural fit with our science program,” says Welch. All of the projects arise from “observing phenomena and then trying to solve a problem associated with that phenomena. All of them.”
We wish our students the best of luck in the next few weeks as they finish up their work and prepare to present in a few weeks!