Two teams of students at Lee Elementary School won national recognition this month for science projects they’ve been working on since September. Both groups got Honorable Mentions in Toshiba’s ExploraVision science competition. They were the only students in Oregon recognized in the national contest this year.

E-Foods: Laser Dried Provisions

Lee Elementary ExploraVision Students and Teachers

Pictured from left: Fourth-grader Luke Stephenson, with third-graders Leah Ioane, Samuel Johnson and Gisabelle Espericueta. In the back row are Lee Elementary Principal Don Hakala, retired Chapman Hill teacher and science advisor Maureen Foelkl with Lee Elementary teacher Pamela Sloan.

Concerned about food waste in the school cafeteria, Lee Elementary students wanted to explore how to eliminate it. Led by teacher Pamela Sloan and science advisor Maureen Foelkl, the kids created a project called “E-Foods: Laser Dried Provisions.”

After brainstorming about different ways to preserve uneaten food, the students came up with a plan to freeze dry it using laser technology. “It was a very good learning experience for them. We appreciate the cooperation of the students’ parents for letting them participate in this wonderful project.” Mrs. Sloan said.

The kids did all the writing, sketched out designs and used math in the proposal they submitted. They learned about advanced scientific concepts, like how vacuum systems and lasers work. The students worked on the project with their teachers every Tuesday after school from 4 p.m.–6 p.m., from September through January.

ScanGear: Repetitive Motion Warning Support System

ExploraVision 2018 Lee Elementary 2nd Graders

Pictured from left: Second-graders Sawyer Bain, Wyatt Timmerman, Hudson Steward, and Logan Porter along with Lee Elementary teacher Pamela Sloan, Principal Don Hakala and science advisor Maureen Foelkl.

Wanting to help people with injuries to their arms and legs, a team of second-graders in Mrs. Sloan’s class came up with an idea called “ScanGear: Repetitive Motion Warning Support System.” Their plan is for a device to wrap around the injured body part. The device would trigger a noise and send a signal to a physician’s office or to a cell phone warning the person to stop using the injured muscle.

The students worked on the project during class time at school while their classmates also worked in teams on other science projects. “I was very impressed with my second-grade group, because they did acquire a lot of science vocabulary,” Mrs. Sloan said. “They are eager and worked very well together as a team, and are already starting to suggest ideas for new projects.”

Both teams plan to work on new science proposals next year, with the goal of advancing to regional and national levels in the ExploraVision contest.