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05-14-14: Students showcase learning during Washington State Spring Fair
05-14-14: Students showcase learning during Washington State Spring Fair
Posted on 05/14/2014

Hundreds of students in kindergarten through grade 12 showcased their learning and artistic talents during the Puyallup School District Straw Tower Contest, Honoring Cultures Diversity Celebration, and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Showcase.

The events and exhibits were featured April 10-13 in conjunction with the Washington State Spring Fair in Puyallup.

Straw Tower Contest



With a bag of neon-colored plastic straws and a box of paperclips in hand, 14 students in grades one through nine raced against the clock to build a structure in one hour that, when finished, could hold the weight of a hard-boiled egg.


The straw tower that remained standing and measured the tallest from the floor to the bottom of the egg was declared the first place winner. Ribbons also were awarded to second and third place.

While some towers toppled as quickly as students set their egg on the structures, others stood strong and remained on display throughout the four days of the Spring Fair. Colorful plastic eggs replaced hard-boiled eggs for the duration of the Spring Fair.


See Straw Tower Contest slideshow.


STEM Showcase

Students showed their understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math during the STEM Showcase, formerly known as the District Science Fair.

Students shared their scientific knowledge with a team of judges who met individually with every entrant and asked extensive questions about the students’Image understanding of the experiments or inventions.

The young scientists presented three-sided display boards that outlined their scientific question, hypothesis, variables, procedure, results, and conclusion, as well as a written journal of their work.

The hundreds of projects this year explored answers to questions such as:


  • How does changing the temperature of the growing environment affect the size of the crystals?
  • Can a hamster learn to run a maze?
  • Does the temperature of a magnet affect its strength?
  • How does the type of paper affect the distance a paper airplane will fly?
  • How does the type of surface affect how far the ball will roll?
  • Does the amount of light the chickens receive each day affect the amount of eggs the chickens will lay?
  • Is it possible to dissolve enough ordinary table salt in tap water to change the density of the tap water enough for an egg to float?
  • Does changing the shape of a parachute affect its fall time?
  • How does sand from around the USA affect the pH of water?


Students also entered technology and engineering projects ranging from a portable wind turbine to a super soda can solar heater.


STEM Showcase organizers announced the winners and presented ribbons at a special reception on April 12.


See STEM Showcase slideshow.



 Honoring Cultures Diversity Celebration

ImageArt, essays, poetry, stage performances, and other culturally relevant student learning projects made up this year's 11th Annual Honoring Cultures Diversity Celebration.

The event, sponsored by the school district’s Office of Equity and Achievement, included a full day of student and community group stage performances on Saturday, April 12.

More than 300 students and community members participated in cultural performances, including choir, orchestra, dance groups, steel drums, and marimba bands, on the outdoor Coca-Cola Stage.

The opening ceremony was marked with a performance by the Chief Leschi Drummers and a welcome by David Bean, an elected member of the Puyallup Tribal Council. The Council is the governing body of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians.


Numerous students from throughout the district also stood by their artwork displayed indoors and explained to fairgoers the mediums they used and the meaning behind their work.

The displays showcased the district's continued efforts to honor the cultures of students and staff through curriculum, read-alouds, art projects, student presentations, and performances.


See Honoring Cultures Diversity Celebration slideshow.