“We do sometimes have grade 3s participate – I think we had one grade 3 participate – but usually it’s for intermediate students,” says organizer of the Science Fair Allison Finter.

Finter is a kindergarten teacher at Duncan Cran but also holds a degree in biology – which she says has her coming back for the Science Fair year-after-year.

“I like to see kids that didn’t know that they were interested in science all of the sudden become interested in science,” says Finter. “A lot of these kids will go on and they will compete at the regional level multiple times – because once they’ve done it, they try to up themselves for next year.”

One of these multiple Science Fair competitors is 11-year-old Kaiven Olson – a grade 6 student and gold medal winner from last year’s regional competition.

Olson’s project for 2015 is entitled Hidden Rocks.

“It’s about 3 types of rocks; shale, sandstone and limestone,” explains Olson. “And I have 2 liquids; water and olive oil [to] see which one absorbs the fastest.”

Olson adds, “The conclusion was – it was sandstone that absorbed it the most.”

Olson says his fascination with extracting oil from rocks comes from his dad – which sparked his interest at a young age.

“It was interesting how you can find new ways of oil with cars and stuff like that,” Olson goes on to say. “So I just wanted to take a gander and try this project.”

Finter says the winning students are those who are genuinely engrossed in their project and its findings.

“Usually the winning projects are the students who have chosen something they’re passionate about, done their extra research, and can explain the science behind it,” Finter concludes.

The winners of this year’s Science Fair at Duncan Cran Elementary will be released February 27, 2015.