Science Fair Showcases Middle School

Newell News

“Tacky Tape Test,” the project by Ayricka Shulte, won Overall Grand Champion of the science fair, as well as winning in the Chemistry category.

NEWELL—Newell School District held its yearly science fair on Wednesday, February 7. Sixth and seventh graders showcased scientific research projects across six categories: physical & environmental sciences, behavioral sciences, chemistry, plant sciences & botany, animal sciences, and engineering sciences. Project titles included “Soil Matters,” “Colorful Teeth,” “How Well I Filter Water,” and “Prosopagnosia, aka Face Blindness.”

Sixth grader Jessi Bachman tested the efficiency of different types of mulch in her project, titled “Mother Mulcher.” “I was interested in changing the mulch to see if it would grow a better sweet corn crop,” she explained. Bachman found that among wool, chicken, grass, and blender mulch types, the wool mulch worked best “because it absorbed the nitrogen and then separated it from the water so it would slowly leak into my plants.” She added that blender mulch performed the worst as it had no fertilizer and did not absorb water as well as she’d hoped. Bachman’s project won the physical/environmental sciences category, along with the Butte County Conservation prize.

Another sixth grader, Braylee Barrera, experimented with a combination of botany and art. Her project, titled “Colorful Flowers,” was the winner of the botany category, and involved dipping the stems of white flowers into colored water and assessing how the length of the stems affected the flowers’ ability to absorb different colors. She got the idea for the project when she was at home with a friend one day. “We really wanted to do something, and we just had a bunch of flowers sitting in a vase, and I asked my mom if we could try coloring them,” she said. Barrera found that “with some of the taller ones, they wouldn’t get colored as much and some would break. So I had to cut them shorter, and then the shorter ones got more colored.”

Other interesting projects included “Tacky Tape,” by Ayricka Shulte, which was the overall grand champion and chemistry winner, and “Better Butter,” by Lucille Ahart, which won an honorable mention in chemistry.

The science fair provided an opportunity for these talented middle schoolers to delve into the world of science and demonstrate their creativity, knowledge, and critical thinking skills. Throughout the day, attendees were able to admire the impressive range of projects on display, each showcasing the students’ dedication and hard work.

The official results for the science fair are listed below.


Overall Grand Champion – Ayricka Shulte

Overall Runner-Up – William Erk


Chemistry Winner – Ayricka Shulte

Botany Winner – Braylee Barrera

Animal Science Winner – William Erk

Engineering Winner – Riley Feistner

Behavioral/Social Sciences Winner – McKenzie Rans

Physical/Environmental Sciences Winner and Butte County Conservation Winner – Jessi Bachman


Chemistry Runner Up – Evelyn Ahart

Botany Runner-Up – Justin Stranberg

Animal Science Runner Up – Tiyana Castillo

Behavioral/Social Sciences Runner Up – Brendt Tifft


Chemistry Honorable Mention – Lucille Ahart

Chemistry Honorable Mention – Kylee Martin

Engineering Honorable Mention – James Gatzke