Students address real-world problems with ingenious science fair projects

It’s easy to picture a bright future when you look at the inventive project Poudre School District fourth- and

fifth-grade students devised for the annual PSD Science and Engineering Fair.

During the fair, hosted by the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, students showed off their creativity and scientific research abilities. 

Take for instance, Traut fifth grader Anya Gorely, who sought to better understand how rising carbon dioxide levels affected plant health. She grew three types of plants and measured both their height and the biomass of their root system. Her project won first place.

Another student, Zach Watkins, used his project as an opportunity to solve a problem vexing his school’s efforts to recycle milk cartons. Instead of shrugging his shoulders when he learned that only dry cartons could be recycled, he created a drying rack for his school’s cafeteria. Students could rinse off their milk cartons and hang them on the rack, leaving them dry enough for the recycling bin. 

“They’re just so inventive,” PSD Science, Health and PE Curriculum Facilitator Laura Grissom said. “Because these kiddos are coming up with these things, I’m excited for our future. These kids are amazing.”

Here are the students who were honored for their outstanding work at the PSD Science and Engineering Fair:


•    Anya Gorely, Traut Core Knowledge 
•    Jackson Martin, Kruse Elementary
•    Maddie Murphy, St. Joseph Catholic School
•    Liam Nevin, Zach Elementary
•    Elli Johnson, Bacon Elementary School
•    Juliet Koenig, Laurel Elementary, 
•    Samara McBride, Academy of Arts and Knowledge
•    Misha Suthar, Academy of Arts and Knowledge
•    Zachary Watkins, Zach Elementary
•    Ana Zimbron-Leon, Riffenburgh Elementary
•    Nadia Anderson, Timnath Elementary
•    Finn Berning, Kruse Elementary 
•    Maya Cumbers-Wenzel, Shepardson Elementary 
•    Dashiell Forkner, Tavelli Elementary
•    Addison Geraets, Timnath Elementary
•    Terran Klein-Ames, Rivendell School
•    Alec Lundy, Christian Core Academy
•    Kylie Ristoff, Rice Elementary
•    Robin Schauerhamer, Shepardson Elementary 
•    Rex Schutte, Timnath Elementary