The 5th Annual Whatcom County Science and Engineering Fair with the theme “Opening The Doors for Tomorrow: Engineering and Future Scientists & Engineers” was held on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at St. Paul’s Academy’s Markell Hall, 1509 East Victor Street, Bellingham, Washington from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There were 75 students from grades K-11 who submitted projects for the fair. These students represented more than eleven different schools, including public, independent, and home school students. Volunteer judges reviewed all projects and each student scientist. There were 27 science professionals and educators that helped judge the following age groups: K-4, 5-8 and 9-12 projects. All participants received a t-shirt, certificate, medal, and awards were given for the top projects. This event is traditionally hosted by St. Paul’s Academy, but it is a Whatcom County Science and Engineering event.

T-shirt and 5th Annual Whatcom County Science and Engineering Fair Logo design created by Lilly Chu.

The event was organized as a regional fair to provide Whatcom County students in grades K-12 the opportunity to participate in a local juried event. Students could submit a project in the general fair or select to follow the Intel International Science Fair (ISEF) standards prior to the 60th Annual Washington State Science and Engineering Fair (WSSEF is March 31st and April 1, 2017). This is the second year that the fair was also open to entrants interested in submitting non-ISEF science projects, engineering and Maker Space projects, collections, and demonstrations. Students had projects ranging in the following categories: Animal Science, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Biochemistry, Biomedical and Health Sciences, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Energy, Environmental Engineering, Materials Science, Mathematics, Microbiology, Physics and Astronomy, Plant and Astronomy, Plant Sciences, Robotics and Intelligent Machines, and Systems Software.

The fair was “Open to the Pubic for Viewing” from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. followed by an “Awards Ceremony” from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. This allowed community members to interact with the projects and students.

“Open to the Pubic for Viewing” from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m.

Now that this fair is in its fifth year, some students are making it a yearly tradition and mark their calendars in advance. “I’ve gone to this particular science fair for the last three years, starting when in first grade. I have lots of math and science related questions that I enjoy exploring, which eventually leads to collecting data on my quest to find answers my questions. This year after a trip to the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado with my family, I became interested in learning about how many grains of sand are at the Great Sand Dunes,” said Wade L., a 3rd Grader from Blaine Elementary. He did this step-by-step, by first taking a quarter inch paper cube to fill with sand and looked at length, height and width of the sand dune’s physical space. It is so fun to learn that it was approximately 168 quintillion grains of sand.

2nd Place Overall Winner Cate W. from St. Paul’s Academy presented the question, “Discussion of Drosophila Dominance”. Cate W. went on to explain, “The process of interacting with the judges was positive. They gave lots of good feedback; they were kind while also being critical. One of the judges had done a very similar experiment in her classroom when she was a teacher. It was nice being able to have a conversation with someone who was familiar with my work. Another judge was a science teacher and understood my scientific and statistical method (Chi squared analysis) and confidence intervals and degrees of freedom.  The other two judges were engineers and told me what I needed to improve on and asked me science questions and non-science questions that really made me think. I appreciated that each judge understood my math and statistics and challenged me to prove that I knew it, too. This is my fourth science fair and this year’s judges were awesome.”

The results were the following:

Elementary (K-4) Middle (5-8)
Science Experiment 1. Fiona Hamai
St. Paul’s Academy
2. Mia McSkimmings
Blaine Elementary School
3. Lucy Naiman
St. Paul’s Academy
1.  Nathan Kuhn and Alex Weller
Fairhaven Middle School
2. Cate Wines
St. Paul’s Academy
3. Celeste Fisher
Shuksan Middle School
Demonstration 1. Jayden Ginder
St. Paul’s Academy
2. Nehchal Barha
St. Paul’s Academy
3. Steven Phelps-McDonald
Blaine Elementary School
1. Shannon Daley
St. Paul’s Academy
2. Thomas Hughes
St. Paul’s Academy
3. Lilyanne Hakes
Carl Cozier Elementary School
Engineering Will Carten
St. Paul’s AcademyMuhammad Wasil Zeeshan  Carl Cozier Elementary School


1. Evan Maudlin
St. Paul’s Academy
2. Sophia Francis
St. Paul’s Academy
3. Lillian England
St. Paul’s Academy
Collection 1. Wade Lottimer
Blaine Elementary School
2. Anabelle Boulos
St. Paul’s Academy
3. Bjorn Houtsma
St. Paul’s Academy
Awards for Elementary (K-4)
Awards for Middle School.

Overall Winners are the following students:

Gold, Nathan Kuhn and Alex Weller | 8th grade, Fairhaven Middle School
Silver, Cate Wines | 7th grade, St. Paul’s Academy
Bronze, Celeste Fisher | 6th grade, Shuksan Middle School

St. Paul’s Academy was thankful to host this regional fair with the generous sponsorship and support from the following local organizations: St. Paul’s Academy, BAAY! Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth, The Foundry Bellingham Makerspace, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Rocket Donuts, Spark Museum of Electrical Invention, Otion: The Soap Bar, Marine Life Center, The Comics Place, Launching Success, The Bagelry, Fanatik Bike Company, Trampoline Zone, eResources, and Chuckanut Sport Car Club.

For more information regarding how to get involved next year, and/or help be a judge or sponsor next year’s event, please contact Science Fair Coordinator Theresa Wines: 

For more information regarding the state fair go to their direct link:

Please see more photos on the St. Paul’s Academy Facebook Page!

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