MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Matthew C. Perry High School held a science fair, Dec. 27, 2014, inside the high school gymnasium aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.
As part of the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiative, the fair presented students with an opportunity to practice the scientific method and impress fellow classmates.
“Our main goal is very simple,” said Patricia Swiderski, the science department head for M.C. Perry High School. “We are trying to get the students interested in science.”
Each of the participating students utilized weeks of research to present their work to a panel of judges who evaluated the students on presentation, results and overall knowledge of their product.
“You see a lot of different subjects during these science fairs,” said Capt. Benjamin Baldwin, a weapon systems officer with Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 and a judge for the science fair. “Everything from hydroponics and how it’s better for growing plants, to ultra violet lights and the radiation they emit, and even examples of different material and what kind of energy they give off when they are ignited.”
Baldwin said that he was impressed with a majority of the presentations he judged, adding that he was able to tell which of the students made an effort to produce the best project.
According to Isaac Lewis, 17, a junior at M.C. Perry, there is a lot of work that goes into the projects.
“I am currently in AP chemistry,” said Lewis. “So I picked a subject to research that I found interesting; elemental combustions.”
Lewis added that most of his fellow classmates followed suit, as they were encouraged to pick a topic that they were most interested in, because these would bear the best results for the science fair.
“Basic science and math are not necessarily the most interesting subjects for students,” said Baldwin. “However, an event like this gives the students that hands-on experience needed to spark an interest in the subject; an interest that can take them down a path to greater learning.”
The first, second and third place winners for each grade will be presented a medal and certificate for their accomplishments during an award ceremony at the end of their current school semester.
However, according to Swiderski, the greatest award they will receive is their own satisfaction for putting time and effort in to their work and learning something new in the process.