Roseville students host Math, Science and Technology fairs

By: Bria Brown | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published March 31, 2017

 Jamiya Johnson, a fourth-grader from Huron Park Elementary, performs an experiment with baking soda and vinegar, which creates a gas and blows up the balloon. Johnson was at third-grader Matthew Zettner’s booth, called “Balloon Hover Craft,” March 28 during a Math, Science and Technology fair at Fountain Elementary School in Roseville.

Jamiya Johnson, a fourth-grader from Huron Park Elementary, performs an experiment with baking soda and vinegar, which creates a gas and blows up the balloon. Johnson was at third-grader Matthew Zettner’s booth, called “Balloon Hover Craft,” March 28 during a Math, Science and Technology fair at Fountain Elementary School in Roseville.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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ROSEVILLE — Roseville elementary schools’ gifted and talented students have been studying math, science and technology and participated in a hands-on fair March 28-31.

Every year, the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders create various projects that they present to their fellow students.

In her 16th year with the Gifted and Talented program, which used to be called “Project Challenge,” instructor Nancy Gitter explained how the program works.

“They have to qualify for it through test scores, IQ tests and general academic testing, and they have to be referred by a teacher. They stay in the program for three years, and every year we do a different curriculum,” she said. 

“All the work was done at home. This is enrichment for (the students) who score a whole grade level ahead in school, who need more than the traditional reading and math,” said Gitter.

“Last year was medieval history. All the schools came together and we did a feast and costumes,” she said.

According to Gitter, students had to choose a topic at the beginning of the school year.

“This is a light year, because we did math, science and technology, so everything that we’ve done all year has been one of those three. From there, the students had to choose an independent project starting in September. January is when the hard core work goes in and students start working on the projects,” said Gitter.

The students from Huron Park Elementary and Fountain Elementary kicked off the fair inside the Fountain Elementary gym March 28.

The Steenland Elementary students’ fair was scheduled for March 29 at Steenland Elementary. Patton Elementary and Kment Elementary students presented their projects March 30 at Kment, and Dort Elementary and Kaiser Elementary ended the fair March 31 at Kaiser Elementary.

Students in the program stood next to their projects and gave synopses of them.

“They have to adjust because they have second-graders all the way to fifth-graders who visit. When they have a fifth-grade class, they can go more in depth than when they have second-graders, who they just let do the activity. All of their topics are way above what they would be typically doing in their classes,” said Gitter.

“The parents’ involvement is second to none; there’s as many parents here as kid,” said Gitter.

Jill DeLiso believes the Gifted and Talented program is “awesome.”

“I saw it years ago before my kids were old enough and thought, ‘Who are those kids? They’re so smart and knowing all these things.’ It was amazing to see them and they were so involved,” said DeLiso. 

“We didn’t know much about the (Gifted and Talented program), but we met Mrs. Gitter, and she’s a dynamic teacher and loves to teach, and the kids love to learn from her,” she said.

When it was time for her son, Ben, to create his project, DeLiso helped guide him.

“I basically did the overseeing. He chose to do balloon rockets, so we got what we needed, and Mrs. Gitter guided them in class with the best way to do things, so it was just a matter of practicing his speech and his rockets,” said DeLiso.

Ben DeLiso’s project focused on Sir Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion.

“I’ve always liked science, and I liked learning about Newton’s three laws of motion, so I chose that,” he said.

He created a balloon rocket with an air pump to put air inside the balloon. Once he opened the end of the balloon, the air inside forced itself out, which caused the balloon to move forward.

“I got the idea from when I was in class one day, and then I thought I could do it, and I got boards to add information for my speech,” he said.
Parent-Teacher Organization President Carrie Wright’s son, Maxwell Krug, designed a Nerf cannon.

“Last year was our first year in the (Gifted and Talented program), and my son had a blast. This year was (focused on) science. (Maxwell) came up with the idea, and my father helped design it so (Maxwell) could build it himself,” said Wright.

Krug’s Nerf cannon had an air pump connected to a tank with a pressure gauge to show how much air was going into the back tank. A button on the side of the cannon released the pressure and shot out a Nerf dart. The cannon took a couple of hours to build, according to Krug’s grandfather Lawrence Wright, who was his “technical advisor.”

“He did all the assembly himself. He put it together and it was his idea in the very beginning. I was basically there to guide him,” said Wright.

Krug explained his process of creating his Nerf cannon and was happy with the results.

“It took me about 30 minutes to put everything together and glue everything exactly right, because once the glue was on there, it wasn’t coming off,” said Krug.

“I had to test it out seven to 10 times, and I’m happy with it,” he added.

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