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Science teacher Devon Ivey shares a few tips to remember before presenting.

By DJJ staff

Johanna Boss High School students presented experiments and talked about what the experience meant to them at their science fair exhibition late last year.

Education staff and foster grandparents were integral in the fruition of the exhibition.

Students in Devon Ivey’s biology class worked together to develop inquiries and follow the scientific method in carrying out experimental projects.  A variety of experiments were conducted by students and they were eager to contribute their findings.

Although each experiment was different, one thing remained true for all students – the inexperience of giving formal presentations.

Despite this, students conducted themselves with poise, used proper pacing and exhibited knowledge of their topic. Two students began the exhibition with introductions and then a detailed description of the effects of agricultural runoff on fresh water aquatic plants.

Foster grandparent Valerie Jones saw nerves were affecting one of the students and quickly donned her lab coat, took position in front of the audience and, without missing a beat, presented alongside them as a support.

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Audience members, from left, are foster grandparent Mr. Mam’re, Johanna Boss Principal Susan Harrower, Foster Grandparent Coordinator Chris Mayfield, Foster Grandparent Ms. Anderson, Chad Assistant Principal Cathy Sherman, JBHS Librarian Rebecca Hill-Long, JBHS School Psych. Amber Rowlands, JBHS Specialized Academic Instructor Karen Lawyer.

In response to a question from the audience, Miguel Perez stated, “we added ammonia to see how much it would produce, then we used fertilizer and it didn’t really work so we added fresh water and it brought in like 56 duck weeds.”

After the presentation he said: “I feel good that I finally got over it (the anxiety) … I’m glad that I did a presentation, a professional one in front of everybody for the first time and I feel great about it.”

Student Rudy Perez  said he enjoyed most “just being up there talking in front of everybody, just getting over a fear that I had, (a feeling of) accomplishment.”

During the second round of presentations, student Earnie Johnson said:  “I’ve just been thinking to myself that ( the presentation experience would) be beneficial to me when I do this in college.

“I predict that dye will work better on real hair than store-bought hair,” he said as he discussed his experiment.

Student Nyzell Dubuisson spoke with confidence, connecting with the audience using natural charisma and a clear step-by-step explanation of his experiment on creating “goo” as a fun pastime for children.

“The highlight for me was making examples for you guys,” Dubuisson said.

When asked whether doing this experiment made him more curious about the world around him, Dubuisson said, “Oh yeah! I got another experiment going on right now!”

In discussing his feelings on presenting the effects of ammonia and fertilizer on fresh water aquatic plants, student Jonathan Nevarez said, “I didn’t feel like I could really do it, but Mr. Ivey my teacher (has) been talking me into doing it.”

Trevor Presley added, “when I get out, I’m going to try and help with deforestation … because I want to help make a difference in the world.  It just makes me want to thrive, be more successful in life.”

Ivey, the biology teacher, said, “[Various gang affiliations] would not speak, but as we got closer to the science fair date, they started working together because they felt the pressure of time,” he said. “They knew they had only one more day to finish so they started sharing markers, glue, scissors, [and] providing each other with feedback.  It was the first [time] I’ve seen my 5th period actually work together.”


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Foster grandparent Anderson, Teaching Assistant Stefanie Paschal, Office support staff Kari Basset and foster grandparent Pettis watched the presentations.