MICHIGAN CITY — Several Barker Middle School students have qualified for participation in the Regional Science & Engineering Fair after ranking in round two of the school’s STEM competition.

According to Barker, studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is important because it offers students educational and career opportunities to become the world’s top inventors, scientists, technicians, engineers, and mathematicians. The school also noted that 9 out of the top 10 companies listed in the Fortune 500 ranking are from the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

To help its student take advantage of these possible future career opportunities, Barker, as a STEM school, required every student this year complete a STEM Fair project for the 2nd grading period for Round 1.

Thirty-eight students qualified for Round 2, which was held on Jan. 23. Biological Division had 11 projects, Chemical Division had 10 projects, and the Physical Division had 17 projects. According to Barker, judging was held during the day and based on scientific thought, creative ability, thoroughness, technical skill, clarity, and dramatic value. Barker said elite projects will be encouraged to participate in the Regional Science & Engineering Fair at Valparaiso University on Feb. 22.

The student rankings included:

Biological Division (11 projects)

3rd Place, 7th grade, “Music Memory,” Nathan Groszek

2nd Place, 7th grade, “Music Rocks the Heart,” Roberto Smiertelny

1st Place, 8th grade, “Do your Genes Affect your Fingerprints?” Juliana Williams

Chemical Division (10 projects)

3rd Place, 8th grade, “Which stain remover will remove a stain the best?” Lynda Pratt

2nd Place, 7th grade, “Which Gum Flavor Lasts the Lonest, Sugar or Sugar Free?” Abigail Sobus

1st Place, 7th grade, “Fuel of the Future,” Bailey Chavis

Physical Division (17 projects)

3rd Place, 7th grade, “Best Paper Airplane,” Dominic Joseph

2nd Place, 8th grade, “Moved By Music,” Arriana Pytynia

1st Place, 8th grade, “Do Sizes of Paper Airplanes Make a Difference?” Kyle Cogdill

Creative Research Award

Physical Division, 8th grade, “Which wood creates the largest Lichtenberg figures?” Ashley McKinney

Grand Champion

Physical Division, 8th grade, “What type of food contains the most energy?” Madison Gresham

Competition judges included Greg Kearney, Grover Medley, Brian Rebac and Bruce Starek

Barker science teachers included Jill Grabowski, 8th; Amy Hamann, 8th and 7th; and Val Mecklenburg, 7th

Amy Hamann was the STEM Fair Coordinator.

For more information on the Northwestern Indiana Science and Engineering Fair at Valparaiso University, visit its website at http://www. valpo.edu/events/nwisef/.

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