The 6th Annual Whatcom County Science and Engineering Fair: Discover Science. Discover the World was held on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at St. Paul’s Academy’s Markell Hall.

Thirty-eight students from Kindergarten through 8th grade submitted projects for the fair, representing seven different schools throughout Whatcom County.  Volunteer judges reviewed all projects and interviewed each student s.  In all, 20 professionals from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields donated their time on Saturday to interact with, inspire, and be inspired by the upcoming generation of STEM enthusiasts and professionals. All participants received a t-shirt, certificate, and medal for their participation. Additional awards were given for the top projects in each category, and to the top 3 scoring projects overall. The St. Paul’s Academy chess team provided a concession stand with the option to purchase delicious treats, with proceeds going to help fund the first St. Paul’s Bughouse Tournament on April 28th.

The event was founded in 2013 as a regional fair to provide Whatcom County students in grades K-12 the opportunity to participate in a local juried event. Students have the option to submit a project in the County fair or select to follow the Intel International Science Fair (ISEF) standards prior to the Washington State Science and Engineering Fair held annually in late March or early April in Bremerton. This is the third 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 Whatcom County Science and Engineering Fair is organized by a planning team of staff members and parents from St. Paul’s Academy.  Interested community members are welcome and encouraged to contact the planning team to get involved.  Planning for next year’s fair starts in October.

St. Paul’s Academy is grateful for the following generous sponsors help to offset the costs of hosting the fair: Saturna Capital, ALCOA Intalco Works, Bellingham Bay Dental, Samson Rope, eResources, Parents Actively Lending Support, SPARK Museum, Port of Subs, Bellingham Wedding & Event Rentals, Chuckanut Sports Car Club, Marine Life Science Center, The Comics Place, and R&R Auto Repairs.

This year, the fair was open for viewing by the public from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. followed by the Awards Ceremony from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. This allowed community members to interact with the projects and students. There were projects ranging from effects of sea level rise on development around Bellingham to a kindergarten student sharing her rock collection from her family travels.

“I looked online and discovered a hovercraft and knew that I wanted to build it”, said Will C. He even helped completed mechanical ‘duct tape’ work on his craft in front of an excited gathered group of spectators, so they could enjoy how it operated.

Will C. (St. Paul’s Academy, 4th Grade) showing how his hovercraft operates during the open public viewing portion of the fair.

Tilly M. from Blaine Primary is a member of the highly capable program in her district that encourages their students to apply to educational events. She said, “If you like science, then you should come to the fair! This event was a ton of fun and you get to investigate something. The judges are nice, too.” She went on to explain that, “I looked up potential project ideas online and discover that I am very interested in mold. I didn’t know that mold can only grow when exposed to water.”

Tilly M. (Blaine Primary) | Project Title: What Molds Fastest?

Now in its sixth year, some families are making the WCSEF a yearly tradition and mark their calendars in advance. Christian L. commented, “I’ve gone to this particular science fair the last two years, starting in third grade. I enjoy being with my friends all day and meeting new ones. Besides it is fun to create a project about which I am curious.” He went on to elaborate, “You see I have pet cockroaches. It was fun to test out all the possible repellents that could affect them. I was surprised that chalk doesn’t work that well.”

Chris L. (St. Paul’s Academy, 4th Grade) | Project Title: Cockrock Repellants

Nanki B., an 8th Grader from St. Paul’s Academy who received the Award of Woman in STEM (top-scoring girl overall) and Second Place Overall commented, “I wanted to complete an information project to learn about how automotive drivetrains operate from my interest in cars, which comes from my grandfather and father.” Coming from a family that is very mechanically minded, learning about how machines operate is fascinating. You see this passion literally comes from my blood. I discovered more about drivetrains by watching videos, asking questions to my family experts, and reading books. I wanted to enlighten the community about how car systems work, so they can properly ask questions and look information up for themselves.”

Nanki B. (St. Paul’s Academy, 8th Grade) was awarded Woman in STEM (top-scoring girl overall) and earned Second Place Overall.

The results are the following:

Top Three Best in Fair: Evan. M from St.Paul’s Academy (First Place Overall), Nanki B. from St. Paul’s Academy (Second Place Overall), and Mahammad S. from Kulshan Middle School (3rd Place Overall)

Evan M. (St. Paul’s Academy, 7th Grade) was awarded First Place Overall. Project Title: Sea Level Rise in The Nooksack River Delta.

Logo Contest Winners: Pepper B. and Serena F.

Awarding of Women in STEM (top-scoring girl overall): Nanki B.

Elementary (K-4) Middle (5-8)
Science Experiment 1. Fiona H.
St. Paul’s Academy
2. Jocelyn H.
St. Paul’s Academy
3. Maxwell D.
St. Paul’s Academy
1.  Stuart W.
St. Paul’s Academy
2. Elsa G.
St. Paul’s Academy
3. Ruby M.
Blaine Middle School
Demonstration 1. Andre M.
St. Paul’s Academy
2. Bruno M.
St. Paul’s Academy
3. Alice L.
St. Paul’s Academy
1. Evan M.
St. Paul’s Academy
2. Celeste F.
Shuksan Middle School
3. Maya W. & Dharma W. Fairhaven Middle School
Engineering 1. Muhammad W.
Carl Cozier
2. Abeeha I.
Carl Cozier
3. Will Carter
St. Paul’s Academy
1. Nanki B.
St. Paul’s Academy
2. Muhammed S.
Kulshan Middle School
3. Kamden I.
St. Paul’s Academy
Collection 1. Meerab I.
Carl Cozier
2. Mellea D.
Blaine Elementary
3. Logan Reddin
St. Paul’s Academy
1. Kate Wines
St. Paul’s Academy

For more information regarding how to get involved in the WCSEF next year, and/or help be a judge or sponsor next year’s event, please contact any of the Science Fair Coordinators Theresa Wines, Tanya McAtee or Heather Carter:

For more information regarding how to get involved in the WCSEF next year, and/or help be a judge or sponsor next year’s event, please contact any of the Science Fair Coordinators Theresa Wines, Tanya McAtee or Heather Carter:

For more information regarding the Washington State Science & Engineering Fair visit:

Mahammad S. (Kulshan Middle School, 8th Grade) was awarded 3rd Place Overall.