Eighth grader Isabel Sanchez pours some of her home made Kombucha for her project about Kombucha during the science fair at the Sonoran Science Academy on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013. She became interested by the process to create Kombucha when she saw it on the TV show Bizarre Foods.

[David Jolkovski/AFN]

From bubble machines, lemon batteries, and catapult tests, Sonoran Science Academy’s gymnasium was filled with a range of projects last Friday for the school’s fourth science fair.

In streamlined rows, more than 50 students from third through eighth grades stood by their display booths as judges from around the Valley observed and evaluated their work.

“Every year we try to set the bar a little higher,” Vice Principal David Coste said of the annual event. “We’re a science academy, so it has to be really good.”

Some 75 students, about half of the school’s student body, compete for first, second and third place in the judging competition. This year’s winners included projects for a Monster energy test, which bat would hit a baseball the hardest, and what type of metal is best detected by a homemade detector.

“They’re such little scientists,” said Principal Faith Ozis. “We don’t limit them, we try everything we possibly can and find what interests them.”

Though students from kindergarten through second grade work on class projects, science fair participants begin working on their ideas and hypotheses in December before winter break. Then about three months of outside work is spent on their projects, formulating questions and testing out their theories.

Getting to interact with judges was one of Vilma Kodyte’s favorite things about the science fair.

“And that I actually get to have fun while doing science and learning,” said the fifth-grader, who had worked on an egg drop experiment.

“It’s for a kid to flourish,” Ozis added.

For more information about the science fair or for a list of winners, visit sonoranscienceacademy.org/ahwatukee.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dmartinez@ahwatukee.com. Follow on Twitter: @_dianamartinez.

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