News & Blog

Emerson Science Fair: Hydrofest 2015!

Nov. 18, 2015, 6:30pm-7:45pm

Here’s a question for you: It’s colorless, odorless, tasteless, transparent, incompressible, the universal solvent, the only common substance found naturally in all three states of matter, one of the only substances that is less dense as a solid than a liquid, and absolutely necessary for all life as we know it on planet earth. What are we talking about?

WATER, of course–one of the most amazing substances on our planet, and one of the most important! And it’s time we took a closer look at this miracle on earth, this simple substance that supports us all. The Emerson Science Department is pleased to announce that this year we will be presenting a science fair of incredible hydrological proportions—a virtual festival of H2O—something we call… HYDROFEST 2015!

We’re excited to share with you our plans for Emerson’s annual Science Fair, which will focus this year on projects, experiments, models, and activities that have to do with the science, the majesty, and the incredible importance of water in our world. The fair will take place on Wednesday evening, November 18th (with set up beginning after school on November 17th). Along with showcasing the students’ projects that evening, we will also present design/build challenges for the kids, water “events,” and demonstrations/presentations by others. Some surprises are in the works!

We’ve already brainstormed a host of ideas as possibilities for your child’s participation in Hydrofest 2015. The list we are offering below will be shared with your child(ren) in their science classes here at school, and we’ll continue to discuss with all students the details of the fair and the many possibilities for projects. The list below is only a start! We’d like to ask you now to consider how you can support your child in participating. We would be thrilled if your family can join us at the Hydrofest and hope your child will create a project to display there.

Some ideas to get you thinking:

The Chemistry of Water

  • What is water made of? What are hydrogen and oxygen?
  • What are the properties of water molecules?
  • What is the freezing point of water at different salt concentrations?
  • How much sugar can be dissolved in water of different temperatures?
  • How can water be a medium for crystal growth?
  • What is the science of water crystals (ice) as snowflakes, frost, or other crystalline forms?
  • How can you desalinate ocean water?
  • Why does ice float? Why do other items sink or float in water?
  • What affects the boiling temperature of water?

The Water Cycle

  • How could you present the life cycle of a molecule of water? Could it travel around the world in air, land, and living things? Imagine the journey!
  • What causes hail to form? What about lightning/thunder during a rainstorm?
  • Demonstrate how a cloud forms. Why do different types of clouds form?
  • How can climate change affect rain/snow patterns around the world?

Water on our Planet or Others

  • Make a diagram/chart to show the distribution of water on Earth.
  • How are glaciers formed? What affect do they have on the land?
  • Make a model of the Huron River Watershed or the Great Lakes. Teach others about a water location.
  • Our Great Lakes; their history, structure, life, etc.
  • Why are oceans salty?
  • Share about the discovery of water on Mars and/or other possible locations in the universe.

Life in Water/Water in Life

  • What critters are signs of a healthy pond? Can we see them under a microscope?
  • Why is drinking enough water important for humans?
  • What adaptations do certain animals have to help them survive with little water?
  • Model the unique life found at the various depths of the ocean.
  • Research or report on the lowest food chain critters– bacteria and protists.

Water and Energy

  • How does the force of water generate electricity?
  • How are boats designed to move through water?
  • Niagara Falls. . . have you been there? What kind of energy/power could be generated there?
  • How is water used to create other forms of energy?

Water Conservation & Issues

  • Is pollution a problem in our local waterways?
  • What invasive species have become a problem in the Great Lakes?
  • How do phosphates in your dishwasher or laundry detergents affect the Huron River? What about the effect of fertilizer on your yard?
  • Where do you get your drinking water? How is it cleaned?
  • Who has the right to water on the planet?
  • Investigate the drought in California–what impact is it having on the U.S.?
  • Bottled Water vs. City Water vs. Well Water? Which tastes better? Is one better for you than the other? Problems in the environment?
  • Test various types of filters to see how well they purify water.
  • How much water do you use for showers vs. baths? How much water does a dripping faucet waste?

To participate in this year’s Hydrofest Science Fair, your child should first decide on what he/she would like to do. If help is needed for ideas, materials, or anything really, please don’t hesitate to ask. Please reply to this email or fill out the bottom of this letter and return it to your science teacher by October 30th. Be ready to bring the project to school on Nov. 17th after school (until 4:30pm) or before school on the morning of Nov. 18th.

We’re looking forward to many wonderful projects again this year!
Kelly Vohland, Mike Wilson, Tim Wilson, Mary Spaller, and Becky Wancier

To participate, please provide the following information, either on a piece of paper to your child’s science teacher or by emailing Kelly Vohland at

  • Name:
  • Grade:
  • Project Idea: 
  • Individual or Group Project (with _______________________)
  • Parent’s Signature (or written permission by email)