By GABRIELLA CRUZ-MARTÍNEZ
William H. Ray Elementary School student Asher Chang won first place for the 4th -6th grade category at the Chicago Zoological Society’s (CZS) Brookfield Zoo annual science fair, sponsored by BP America for his project on the “Effects of Different Types of Water on Plants.”
Chang, a 6th grade student at Ray Elementary, 5631 S. Kimbark Ave., competed with nearly 200 students from 24 Chicago Public Schools that participated in the science fair and was awarded a Brookfield Zoo Basic Family Membership with his first place prize.
Chang’s project tested the effects of tap water versus mineral water on soil when growing plants, with mineral water resulting as the best option. It is recommended that if one lets tap water sit for 24 hours before watering plants, it will allow chlorine and fluoride to dissipate.
Sean Murphy, a teacher assistant at Ray, said Chang was excited after learning he had won first place. Several students at Ray Elementary had been selected to compete in the CPS Brookfield Zoo annual science fair after scoring more than 89 percent in the school science fair.
“Three judges passed to evaluate Chang,” said Murphy, who had accompanied the student with his science teacher Vicki Drewa to the event. “They all said that he had great presentation skills when describing his project, which we were really proud of as his teachers. We are happy for his accomplishment.”
During the event, students showcased their engineering and science projects and presented their projects to a panel of approximately 100 judges, which included CZS staff, as well as corporate volunteers. Awards and prizes, which included zoo family memberships, were presented to the top three winners.