Over 60 students from schools in Central Louisiana competed at the Louisiana Region IV Science and Engineering Fair held Saturday, February 28 at the LSU-A Campus in Alexandria. East Natchitoches Elementary School set the pace, bringing in a bus with 15 students, Principal Chrystal Davis, Asst Principal Trisha Weaver and 5th grade math and science teacher Erin Hollister. The students were the top finishers from the 136 competitors at their school’s science fair. It should be noted that the East Natchitoches Elementary contingent was, by far, the largest at the fair from a single school. It is a remarkable achievement that speaks well of the students and their teachers. The young men and women of East Natchitoches Elementary were joined by several students from Natchitoches Magnet who came with their parents. In the Senior Division, the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts brought 5 competitors with chemistry faculty members Dr. Michelle Stover and Dr. Chris Hynes.
As a writer for the Natchitoches Parish Journal and a former teacher in one of the poorest parishes in the state, I have long maintained that there are talented and intelligent children in all of the parish’s schools. It is quite evident that the leadership and faculty of East Natchitoches Elementary School share that belief. Ms. Hollister and Ms. Weaver drove to LSU-A Friday evening to set up the 15 project boards and fill out the paperwork ahead of time so that the children would be able to have a smoother start on the day of competition. On the day of the fair, the two teachers came on the bus with Ms. Davis to support their students.
All of the work on the Science Fair projects were done at home by the students on their own time. Likewise, the teachers spent quite a bit of time outside of class making sure the projects complied with the fair’s myriad of rules. It was neither a quick nor simple undertaking.
The Natchitoches Parish Journal would like to commend Principal Davis, the faculty and staff of East Natchitoches Elementary School, science teacher Ms. Erin Hollister. Asst principal Trisha Weaver, and especially all of the young men and women who so ably rose to the challenge. It was a job well done. Our parish’s children are as able as those anywhere. All they need is an opportunity!