Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Whiz Kids Students Honored for Know-How, Imagination at Area Science Fair

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Whiz Kids Students Honored for Know-How, Imagination at Area Science Fair

Article excerpt

Barbara Ellebrecht can beam twice with pride.

Her sons, Mike, 11, and John, 6, captured two of the top elementary prizes at the 49th annual Greater St. Louis Science Fair.

She earns credit as the boys' mother and teacher. Ellebrecht, an accountant, educates Mike and John at the family home in Wildwood. She gets help from her husband, David Ellebrecht, an engineer. In all, 15 projects captured division honors in the elementary competition. Judges selected them from almost 2,000 entries - enough to cover half the skating rink at Greensfelder Recreation Center at Queeny Park, 550 Weidman Road in west St. Louis County. The elementary exhibits will stay on display through 5 p.m today. The awards ceremony for the elementary fair will be at 6:30 tonight at the recreation center. Division winners will go home with a gold, Olympic-style medallion tied to a red, white and blue ribbon. An additional 1,000 or so students will leave with red, green or blue ribbons. Elementary division winners represent various education settings: home schoolers, parochial schools, a private school, a city magnet school, suburban public schools and a program for students with exceptional intelligence. Several dozen students with physical disabilities also entered the fair, including Susan Cooper, a fifth-grader with cerebral palsy. She earned the privilege of going on to the science fair after she won a blue ribbon at Barrington Elementary in the Hazelwood School District. For her experiment, Susan unlocked the brake on her wheelchair and glided down a homemade ramp in the driveway of her home just north of Florissant. With help from Jennifer Cooper, her mother, and Chester Cooper, her grandfather, Susan calculated the speed and distance she traveled as different weights went on the wheelchair handles. Susan showed that instead of going faster and farther with more weights, friction slowed the wheelchair. Among the division winners, John Ellebrecht, the kindergartner schooled at home, designed three paper planes with different flap systems. …

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