By Brian Cameron
In an evening of gorgeous views amidst some unexpectedly fair weather, third grade students from both South Prairie Elementary and Garibaldi Grade School, along with some select Tillamook High School students, grouped at Pier’s End in Garibaldi to showcase their individual projects at the first-of-its-kind science fair.
Pier’s End, the iconic Garibaldi locale that has served as an historic Coast Guard boathouse, bait shop, and a rather oddly placed rental property has now been repurposed to an educational and interpretive destination right in the middle of Tillamook Bay. Recently taken over by the Garibaldi Cultural Heritage Foundation, Pier’s End has a bright future ahead as its transformed into a community based location with ample social opportunity.
“We started using Pier’s End for educational opportunities about three years ago,” Clair Thomas, Natural Resource Education Coordinator, said. “We’re glad that its being turned back to public use, it offers students an excellent opportunity for marine-based science.”
The science fair itself was rife with interesting projects dreamed up by Tillamook County youngsters, some of which included the differences of using baking powder to baking soda in cookie recipes, or whether or not Mentos or Skittles work more effectively to launch a bottle’s worth of soda pop skyward, or how to change the time period of a pendulum, electro chemistry, mold growth and even a project asking what the effects of talking to growing plants can produce. Indeed the fair possessed a litany of interest to the scientific mind.
Thomas addressed the crowd of students, parents and teachers in a jam-packed open area inside Pier’s End.
“The projects the students have come up with are really, truly fantastic,” Thomas said. “And it’s absolutely amazing what you all have done here today. There’s lots of scientific potential for the future here tonight.”
The first place winner’s projects were featured separately and included three finalists – their projects included such subjects as musically grown plants, what is the most important thing in life and homebrewed kombucha.
“One of my kombucha samples got a mold spore,” Theresa Brown, first place winner, said. “Which ended up producing some surprising and unexpected results.”
Brown, who was there with her mother, stood proudly by her project’s display board showing photos and test results of making various types of kombucha, a process she had never tried prior to the science fair.
One of the other first place winners was Dagan Nightshade, South Prairie third grader, who had asked 42 different people what was the most important thing to them in their lives. He initially hypothesized that food, love and family would be the top three but was surprised by some of the answers given in the results.
“Some of the answers I got were Jesus, solidarity and clarity,” Nightshade said. “But also people did say family was up there too.”
The event was held at Pier’s End and went from 5:30 – 7 p.m., which allowed students, parents and teachers to all come out and see science first hand while inside a truly historic location.