P.E. Wallace Middle School 5th grader Tanner Marshall placed 1st in the Junior Physical Science Division for grades 5-8 at the East Texas Regional Science Fair at Kilgore on March 2. Marshall, the son of Judd and Courtney Marshall, also brought home the overall Judge’s Award while beating over 200 5th through 8th graders in the Junior Division. He will represent MPISD at the Texas Science and Engineering Fair in San Antonio later this month.
Marshall’s project was a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) investigation exploring the effects of mass on the motion of objects. He engineered a motorized mangonel, or catapult, to test how an object’s mass can affect the distance traveled when launched by the mangonel. In the process, he also learned Newton’s Laws of Motion.
“Tanner’s dream of becoming an engineer really guides him, and he has great curiosities that lead him to investigate not just how something works, but why,” said Wallace Science teacher Susan Gage. “His project and his presentation was exactly what the judges want to see from our youth.”
Six other MPISD students also competed in the East Texas Regional Science Fair. The students that competed were: 5th graders-Kate Ball, Brooke Bagley, Sam Chappell, and Tanner Marshall; 6th graders-Alex Ochoa and Harrison Wall; and, MPJH 7th Grader- Eli Rider.
“Each of these students spent a lot of hours outside of school preparing for the Kilgore Regional competition,” said Gage. “They not only applied the Scientific Method, but also learned how to write an abstract, and then submit their work electronically. All of them did a wonderful job representing our district and their school.”
The science fair housed projects from the entire 31-county East Texas area. Any student in grades 5-12 enrolled in a public, private, parochial, military or home school in the 31-county region were eligible to enter the East Texas Regional Science Fair: Anderson, Angelina, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Delta, Franklin, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Hopkins, Houston, Lamar, Leon, Madison, Marion, Morris, Nacogdoches, Panola, Rains, Red River, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood.
“This was a huge meet, and that makes Tanner’s accomplishment even better,” added Gage.