Long Beach Middle School featured an array of scientific findings and explorations during its annual Science Symposium on Nov. 24. The research work of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders was on display throughout the building for guests to view and learn from.

The students worked individually, with partners or in small groups to created visual exhibits that outlined their hypotheses, experiments, observations and conclusions and explained their discoveries to spectators.

The young scientists explored topics that were of interest to them. Eighth-grader Dominick Cieleski, who plays lacrosse, tested which brand of lacrosse ball travels fastest. His study revealed that the Brine variety carried the most speed. Evin Tacata and Evan Tacata, also in the eighth grade, conducted an experiment on black holes and the force of gravity — a subject that had sparked their curiosity. In a project involving snails, seventh-graders Louise Dattolico and Lucia Tomicick found that the creatures preferred the color orange to green after feeding them carrots. Eighth-grade students Matthew Amato, Anthony Doall and Jack Rand were surprised to see that water had a quicker evaporation rate than rubbing alcohol despite its higher density, and seventh-graders Maleiah Wells and Mairead Powers determined that coffee had the greatest effect in their investigation of caffeine’s impact on plant growth.

The Science Symposium and the work that went into it supported the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program by focusing on student engagement, student-centered learning, and inquiry-based projects and explorations. Students extended and deepened their knowledge as they attempted to answer their own questions through the scientific method. They also demonstrated the IB Learner Profile traits of being inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective.