Middle school holds first science fair

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By Meaghan Downs

Anderson County Middle School hosted its first science fair on April 19 for about 16 students with projects featuring a variety of studies — from duckling incubation to a tarantula’s habitat to the history of the phonograph.
Sixth grade science teacher Amanda Ratliff is in her first year of teaching at the middle school, and it’s the first time for the middle school to hold a science fair for its students. Ratliff, who needed to fulfill a K-TIP leadership project requirement during her first year of teaching, said she decided that a science fair would be something that everyone could enjoy and benefit from.  
Sara Ferguson and partners Hannah Patterson and Autumn Rogers worked on a presentation about duckling incubation, complete with more than 122 animated slides to explain their work and six ducklings.
“I live on a poultry farm,” Ferguson said. “Comes naturally.”
Other students experimented using different soil samples for plants; another created a model of the solar system. One team of students reconstructed model volcanoes.
“We’re learning about volcanoes in class, and we thought it’d be cool to connect what we’re learning in class with our science fair project,” Allison McHugh, one of three girls who worked on the project, said.
Ratliff said she wasn’t sure if she will host another science fair next year, but she was happy with the result.
“It went as smooth as I could possibly ask for,” she said.

2012 Anderson County Middle School Science Fair Awards
First place: Benjamin Curry, “Can Sunlight Fade Colors?”
Second place: Maribeth Durham, “Phonograph”
Third place (tied): Anna Boyles, “The Science of Seeds and Soil”; Sara Ferguson, Hannah Patterson and Autumn Rogers, “Duck Incubation Experiment”

For photos of the science fair, visit the multimedia queue on the homepage, or click here.