MHAFB hosts science fair


Stephensen Elementary School hosted their sixth annual science fair and expo at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, March 23, 2017. The school teamed up with base personnel to grow students’ interest in the science field.

The fair is run by the Parent Teacher Together organization which implements several programs to help military children through their learning process.

The PTT incorporates a science enrichment program to supplement the topic into the students’ curriculum. Along with this program, they use interactive tools such as the annual science fair and expo to keep children interested and involved in their education.

“Kindergarten through third grade classes across the state of Idaho are not required to offer science as a grade,” said Colleen Holdredge, Parent Teacher Together vice president. “For us, as a parent organization, we feel that it’s important for the military child, who can get up and PCS at any time, to get science into their curriculum.”

Their efforts have sparked an interest over the six years of their involvement with the school.

“Every grade K through four is participating this year,” Holdredge said. “We have 67 [students] participating which is the most we have ever had at our science fairs.”

Even teachers are excited to see what their students come up with.

“The science fair project is amazing,” said Jessica Buckholz, Parent Teacher Together president. “Seeing the children get up and talk about their projects is fun to watch and watching them grow is inspiring.”

Several shops from the base got involved as well, bringing their own projects for the students to see.

“We have weather flight, the youth center, entomology, precision measurement equipment inspection flight or NDI who are bringing their robot, the hospital is bringing their (simulated patient), and (explosive ordinance disposal) is bringing their machines as well,” Holdredge said. “It’s great to see so much involvement.”

But at the end of the day, it’s all about ensuring the children thrive.

“I think it just sparks imagination,” Holdredge said. “I mean, every kid loves science at this age and we want to keep them interested and let them know it’s not all about math and reading, it’s about getting to see how the world works.”