Scoot over Sir Issac, take a seat Mr. Einstein — make way for those Pine-Strawberry School students enthusiastically gearing up for an annual science fair in which they will have the opportunity to flex their cerebral prowess.
The fair will be held next week, Jan. 27 to Jan. 31.
For those unfamiliar with science fairs, they are school competitions in which students present their science project results in the form of reports, display boards, and models they have created.
For the fairs, students are required to use the scientific method which is:
- Observe — Look around and ask questions.
- Hypothesize — Make a guess about the answer.
- Experiment — Prove the hypothesis by testing it.
- Draw a Conclusion — Think about the evidence.
Next week’s Pine Strawberry School science fair winners along with other champions from around Gila County will compete Feb. 26 in the Regional Science Fair at Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum in Miami. Judging will start at 8 a.m., with doors open to the public from noon to 3 p.m.
The really big reward for all the hard work takes place March 31 through April 2 at the Phoenix Convention Center where regional winners compete at the granddaddy of all competitions — Arizona State Science and Engineering Fair.
Qualifying for the state show is akin to a prep athlete reaching the state sports finals.
Last year, 21 students from Gila County qualified for and earned medals at the state’s science fair. The students came from Pine, Payson, Young, Globe and Gila County Regional School districts.
Participation in science fairs can also yield big time rewards for teachers.
In 1990, former Rim Country Middle School science teacher Gloria Joe was named the Walt Disney American Science Teacher of the Year in part for the years of work she did organizing and hosting local, regional and state science fairs.
In the United States, science fairs first became popular in the early 1950s, with the advent of International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), then known as the National Science Fair.
At the time, interest in the sciences was at a new high mostly because the world witnessed the use of the first two atomic weapons and the dawn of television.
As the decade progressed, science in the news — such as the launching of the Sputnik satellite, and Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine — created even more interest in science fairs.
Parents and others can view the Pine-Strawberry School Science Fair projects during an open house from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30.
Lady Buffs stampede over CV
Lady Buffalo second-year girls basketball coach Amanda Finkler watched with great pride as her team wrapped up the 2013-14 season in Pine-Strawberry School gymnasium with a convincing win over Camp Verde.
Finkler expressed satisfaction with the “W” because she remembers “Seeing great growth and ability from the girls this season.”
The Lady Buffs opened the season in November without the services of five standouts off the 2012-2013 that had graduated and were playing for Payson High.
“I did not know what to expect,” Finkler admitted saying she first believed the season would be a rebuilding year.
“Much to my surprise, the girls worked hard at practice and in the games showing their knowledge and their ability to strive for excellence,” the coach said.
The season-ending win over CV on Jan. 16 she said, “Was a great way to round out the season and to add great promise to what the future holds for the Lady Buffaloes.”
There is, however, a bit of melancholy surrounding the program, “We say goodbye to our eighth-graders — veteran hoopsters Brittany Fleming, and newcomers Krislyn Alford and Becca Ralls.”
The coach praised those players saying they “Brought a great dynamic to the team and provided excellent defense and offensive skills as well as leadership.”
While the season is now officially over, Finkler is wasting no time gearing up for next year, “I look forward to November.”
There’s still plenty of time to stop by the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library and purchase raffle tickets that have as a prize a bountiful basket of See’s Candy valued at $165.
The basket will be raffled off at 2 p.m., Friday, Feb. 14.
Tickets are $5 for six or $10 for 15.
Also at the library, See’s Candy, including 1-pound boxes of nuts and chews, 1-pound Classic Red Heart boxes of assorted chocolates, 1-pound, 5-ounce boxes of assorted lollypops and others, are being sold.
All proceeds from the raffle and candy sale benefit the local library.
Dining hall renovated
The Pine-Strawberry Community Dining Hall has been spruced up and renovated so it is now as pleasing and eye-appealing as any fine restaurant.
During a Senior Citizens Affairs Foundation (SCAF) board meeting last month, members proudly showed off the revamped facility to this columnist.
It’s obvious a good deal of work went into the improvements.
The dining room is open at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. Seniors age 50 or older are welcome. A full meal is $3 for SCAF members and $6 for non-members. The salad bar is $2 for members and $3 for non-members. Call (928) 476-2151 to make reservations
PSWID to hold May election
There are those in Pine and Strawberry praising the Gila County Board of Supervisors for their decision to hold a special spring election for the local water district.
On Jan. 17 in a conference call, the supervisors voted 2-1 to elect seven new PSWID board members in May.
Before the vote, many local water users were convinced the BOS members would not approve a spring election preferring to wait until the regular November election to choose the new board members.
Supervisor Tommie Martin told the Roundup her preference once was to wait until November for the election, but after listening to citizens express their apprehensions during a Jan. 16 town hall meeting in the Pine Cultural Center, she decided to support the spring election.
Electing a new board became necessary last fall after former members Ray Pugel, Ron Calderon, Gary Lovetro, Mike Claxton and Richard Dickinson all resigned while facing the possibility of being recalled.
Ric Hawthorne, who helped spearhead the recall movement, was among those elated with the supervisors’ decision.
“I am extremely pleased for the people of Pine and Strawberry that we now have the opportunity to try and unite behind a new board. Now is our best chance to start clean and move past there being ‘factions’ and truly try to be a ‘community,’” said Hawthorne.
“The decision by the county board of supervisors to allow early elections is the opportunity to work together to get PSWID back on track, and I have great hope that if we can put the past behind us, we can do just that.”