A student at Carlisle Elementary School in Delaware has made her way into the top 50 in an online science fair competition.
Sophia Schaffer, who will enter the first grade this fall, is taking part in the MOVA Globes #StayHomeScienceFair competition. During the competition, students created videos of themselves doing different science experiments and explaining their hypotheses.
After a panel of judges narrowed the pool of contestants to 50, the organization is asking people to “like” their favorite video on YouTube to determine the “fan favorite.”
Schaffer’s experiment centers on using shaving cream to mimic clouds to examine how clouds make rain. In the video, Schaffer goes step by step for the viewer and shows how food coloring passes through shaving cream the same way that water passes through a cloud to become rain.
Schaffer said she came up with the idea because she wanted to understand clouds.
“I love clouds, so I asked my mom how they make rain,” Schaffer said. “She said we could Google it, so we did. I really like science, so we found a way to make clouds in a jar from Google.”
Schaffer said her favorite part of the process was making the video of the experiment.
“The video was so fun,” she said. “I loved spraying the shaving cream in the jar. It was cool to see it expanding in the jar. The shaving cream was really the most fun, and it’s so puffy.”
Schaffer’s mother, Amanda, said she was very proud when they learned Sophia had placed in the top 50 in the competition.
“Her love for science is so inspiring, and we love to see how much joy it brings to her,” Amanda Schaffer said.
Sophia Schaffer said she couldn’t wait to tell her family when she learned she had done well in the competition.
“I felt really good,” she said. “I wanted to tell my Aunt Coco, because I knew she would be so proud of me. I also wanted to tell my Gussie (grandmother), because she’s the best.”
Amanda Schaffer said she helped her daughter film the video, adding she enjoyed the cooperative experience.
“(My favorite part was) having Sophia get so excited to do the science experiment and film it,” Amanda Schaffer said. “It was so much fun to participate in this together. With all the anxiety that COVID has brought all of us, it felt really good to just take some time together and do this fun project. And it was so amazing to see how happy it made her to talk about and do science.”
Amanda Schaffer added her daughter has always been interested in science, and she wants to be a scientist one day.
“Really she already is.” Amanda Schaffer said. “We try as hard as we can to encourage her in science, because there is a gap of women in STEM-related professions. We really hope Sophia will help close that gap … Also seeing how much she loves sharing her passion for science with others is so humbling at her young age.”
Interested parties can vote for Sophia Schaffer by visiting the MOVA Globes Facebook page and finding the link to the playlist of competitors. Schaffer’s video can also be found by searching “Sophia Schaffer | Kindergarten Finalist | MOVA Globes Stay Home Science Fair 2020” on YouTube.
“Thank you to everyone who is supporting me in my community,” Sophia Schaffer said. “It makes me feel happy.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.