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Chelsea Science Fair

February 13, 2024
By Eileen Peppiatt, edited by Simone Lash

The Chelsea Science Fair, an annual event that takes place early in the third quarter, was held on January 24th this year. High school freshmen and juniors as well as sophomores in honors are required to participate, totaling up to fifty students and filling up three classrooms! Displays featuring bright colors, photos of experiments, and data tables were read by students and parents as the participants waited nervously for the judging to begin. The judges, meanwhile, checked their schedules to find out which students they were judging.

The judging began promptly at 6:30 pm, and the rooms settled down as some students explained their experiments while others, waiting for their turn, gave their boards one last check or chatted with friends. Each student explained their experiment to three judges throughout the evening, then waited while the top ten science fair contestants were chosen.

At last, the results were announced by Dr. Shanahan, who had prepared the students for the last several months for the big day. Juniors– Patrick Anderson, Isabelle Schuttloffel, Jimmy Stanford, and Keira Thomas, sophomores– Ben Tapsak, Miriam Pilon and Anna Reeves, and freshmen– Marya Klassen, Jon Mahlum, and Paul Beasley were all included in the final top ten. Their topics ranged from filtering water to lactase to defrosting chicken! All the students in top ten have the choice to continue to the Shenandoah Valley Regionals Science Fair, held at James Madison University.  After the announcement, the other forty students were free to leave. The top ten contestants were judged again; this time by a group of judges all at once, so that the top three winners could be chosen from the group.

The next morning, the results were reported to the entire school. Applause filled the gym as the ten stood in front. The top three were then announced. In third place came freshman Jon Mahlum with the experiment “Extracting Strawberry DNA”. Sophomore Anna Reeves took second, displaying a project tracking the sugar levels of pasture grass. Winning first prize, with his experiment titled “Heavy Metal” was sophomore Ben Tapsak! 
The Chelsea community congratulates the top ten, and wishes them good luck as they advance to the Regionals Science Fair to represent our school. We commend all of this year’s participants, and thank all those who organized the science fair, especially Dr. Shanahan. Chelsea’s 2024 Science Fair was a success!

Posted in Academics