CMS competes in UAB science fair

Published 4:16 pm Thursday, March 15, 2012

Front Row, Jim Vick, Braxton Gillum, James Parker, Samantha Slaughter, Landon Bentley and Cydnee Goodwin; Second Row, Ms. Tara Jones, Tyler Morris, Jennifer Harrison, Cole Jeffries, Shaina Trumer, Lauren Vick, Maddie Carden, Sarah Head, Kifia Lollar, Anna Wood, Mrs. Elizabeth Burttram; third Row, Mr. Dustin Smith, Ethan Johnson, Trent Sullivan, Cole Jeffries, Jesse, Jones, Nathan Horton, Mitchell Tate, Jeffrey Buchanan, and Marjorie Head. (Contributed)

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist

Columbiana Middle School has budding scientists in its midst. For the fifth year, CMS has held its school science fair where students are required to do an independent study and complete a science project. The winners competed in the UAB Regional Science Fair in Birmingham.

The science project is a team effort of students, parents and teachers. First, each student comes up with a research plan and hypothesis; second, the experiment is conducted; and last, the display is created.

“Science is a process of problem solving,” said Elizabeth Burttram. “The science projects are independent studies where the students do the work with their teachers as mentors and support by their parents.”

CMS is a member of the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative, a hands-on, inquiry based instruction. All CMS math and science teachers are AMSTI trained.

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Education, AMSTI schools had gains of 28 days of extra schooling after one year in the program. The point of the AMSTI program is that students learn math and science by doing math and science. The CMS Science Fair is part of this learning process.

Congratulations to the 2012 CMS Science Fair winners: Sixth grade- First place Braxton Gillum and James Parker, second place Cole Jeffries and Tyler Morris, third place Trent Sullivan, Ethan Johnson and Jesse Jones, honorable mention, Sarah Head, Kofia Lollar, Anna Wood and Jennifer Harrison; Seventh Grade – First place Samantha Slaughter, second place Maddie Carden, third place Lauren Vick and Cydnee Goodwin, honorable mention Cameron Jackson, Nathan Horton and Shaina Trumer; and Eighth Grade – first place Landon Bentley, second, place Marjorie Head, third place Jim Vick and Jeffrey Buchanan, honorable mention Ryan Harmon, Mitchell Tate, and JT Lee.

AMSTI trained teachers who mentored these exceptional students are: Tata Jones (sixth grade); Dustin Smith (seventh grade); and Elizabeth Burttram (eighth grade). Six awards were earned by four students at the UAB Regional Science Fair in the Junior Division on March 3: Landon Bentley, first place Chemistry and Metric Association Award; Ryan Harmon, first place in Health and medicine; JT Lee, first place in engineering and the AMS Materials Award; and Samantha Slaughter, honorable mention in biology.

Bentley, Harmon, and Lee will go on to compete in the Alabama Science and Engineering Fair in Huntsville at the UAH campus April 5-7, 2012.

CMS is blessed to have dedicated teachers and parents who support these outstanding students.

Phoebe Donald Robinson can be reached by email at

About Phoebe Donald Robinson

I am President of Donald Real Estate and Ins. Co., Inc., a company that my grandfather , Charles J. Donald, founded in 1925. I am the third generation owner of the business. I am also the Columbiana Columnist for the Shelby County Reporter.

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