DALLAS TWP. — Though they don’t have much in common with the professional ice hockey players after which they’re named, guinea pigs Marc-Andre Furry and Evguinea Malpig proved to be scientifically fascinating on Thursday, March 3.
Dallas Elementary School PTO hosted the 21st annual Arlene Besecker Memorial Science Fair for students in grades kindergarten through fifth, who participated on a volunteer basis.
Over 250 students, the highest in several years, making up 141 projects, also a science fair high, displayed their projects for family and friends in the school’s gymnasium during the event.
Ava Puskar, a first grader, focused her project on what it’s like to have guinea pigs as pets.
“Both (guinea pigs) are boys and they sleep a lot and eat a lot; they are really cute and cuddly,” said the pigs’ owner Puskar, 7, of Dallas. “We just hold them and pet them and when they start to squirm, we put them back in the cage.”
The pets’ names are parodies of Marc-Andre Fleury and Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
According to Karen Alaimo, one of the coordinators of the fair, on Friday, each teacher brought their own class to the science fair so students with projects could demonstrate them to classmates.
Cassie Elgonitis, 10, and Jordan Nichols, 11, both in fifth grade, displayed the “walking water” experiment. It took approximately three hours for their project to be completed.
“My role was to fill all the cups of water and put the primary colors in to the cups that had water and the cups that didn’t have water so the water traveled through the paper towel to blend colors,” said Nichols.
“It was super duper easy to find the materials,” said Elgonitis. “I was surprised of the results.”
Emma Kate Sgarlat, 6, Isabell Evans, 7, and Molly Walsh, 8, collaborated with their science project of making a volcano.
“We made the volcano project from an orange juice bottle, baking soda and baking drops,” Emma said. “It took us about three or four days to make the volcano.”
“I think its great to get kids involved in science at such a young age,” said Jennifer Sgarlat, Emma’s mother. “Even simple concepts can grow and pique their interests in science.”
All three children, although in different grades, live in the same neighborhood.
“All three children have different skill sets and they were able to help each other. Even my 4-year-old son Sam even helped with the project,” said Sgarlat.
Every student received a certificate from the PTO for participating.
Ellie Steinruck, Kris Coy, and Chris Vincelli, along with Alaimo made up the science fair committee.