by Samantha Evenson
Our vision statement says this about Youth: “The community recognized the value of its youths and provides support for their recreational, educational and social needs by maintaining and enhancing existing facilities and aggressively researching and developing new ones. Through existing and newly developed civic organization, volunteers, educational and religious sources, the needs of our youths are fulfilled in a safe and respected way.”
What better way can we support our community than by supporting the future of it? Our youth are a commodity we can’t waste; rather, we must support and encourage their talents and endeavors. Michael Wichmann, Pelican Rapids High School Science teacher, is using his talents and experience to foster an interest and understanding in science with local high school students. He began and is currently advisor for the newly formed Pelican Rapids High School Science Fair Group.
Wichmann, before coming to Pelican Rapids last year, had much success with students in science fair work, making it to the International Science Fair around twenty times with students. Two of these students he is particularly proud of. His son Paul and daughter Marie both attended the International Science Fairs for their efforts. Paul patented his science fair design which was a hollow tined aerator for golf greens.
Wichmann encourages the students to do independent research work. Working on science projects is a commitment for students that requires time and effort. Students began researching background information on projects in September and October. In December, data was collected and the research papers were started. Work will continue until March 8 when Wichmann believes they will be ready for the Western Regional Science Fair.
Since beginning this new program at the High School, Wichmann has several students working on research projects. The entire science, math and computer departments are working together to increase the number of students who will make science, math or computers their lifetime work. Thank you to Mr. Wichmann for his effort in providing another opportunity for our youth to expand and explore educational opportunities.
Anyone in grades 7-12 interested in this science research group are welcome to stop in Mr. Wichmann’s classroom anytime.