OSAGE | For Osage Middle School fifth-graders, the annual project fair provides students with the opportunity to learn about topics of interest, or to even learn something they’ve been vaguely curious about.

In addition to this year’s annual project fair, in the media center, another visually interactive project was also on display. The middle school sixth-graders had compiled a history of the Olympics, from past to present, in honor of the 2018 Winter Olympics being held in South Korea.

Through various means of presenting their projects including a variety of multi-media, from poster board to tablets, laptops, drawings, postcards, old magazines, clay models, stuffed animals, strands of lights, cassette tapes and books, students spoke to visitors about their project, including why they had chosen the subject matter and what they learned along the way.

For fifth-grader Kayelea Parks, her booth included a display board, which showed the causes of a volcanic eruption, a painted, working model of a volcano and volcanic rocks.

“I like the eruption part, it was very scientific,” said Parks, who carefully poured vinegar, dish soap, baking powder, and food coloring down the mouth of her plaster volcano in order to simulate an eruption.

Parks wasn’t the only one with a plaster display. Mattea Meirick, who moved to the Osage area from a town by the Mississippi River, did her project on the river, complete with a model, and some fun facts about the river and the areas that surround it.

“The oldest city on the river is Natchez, said Meirick, who also had a pollution chart as part of her display, showing how much of the Mississippi river is clean water and how much has been damaged.

“Oil spills and farm runoff have caused most of the pollution,” Meirick said. “I like to learn a lot about rivers.”

While rivers weren’t a project topic for Henry Mauser, music was. Mauser, who is a fan of classical and rock music, got a cassette player for Christmas, which he had on display as part of his project.

“I love old music,” Mauser said, “and was really interesting in how CD and cassette players work, so I made a model of a CD player.”

The eye-catching model inspired several in attendance to stop and ask questions about the project and how he’d put it together.

Personal interest in a subject was a huge factor in many of the fifth graders choices.

In the case of Aubrey Chapman, a vivid display about the history of softball, which included important figureheads of the sport, allowed her to speak with visitors about the women who had a huge hand in making the sport what it is today.

“My passion is softball,” Chapman said. “I’ve played since I was 4 or 5, and I feel like I learned a lot about the sport by doing this project.”

The Winter Olympics exhibition included poster boards displaying photos and information depicting a wide variety of winter sports, each sport with a Q-code that could be scanned into a nearby tablet, which would then run a presentation for visitors.

The interactive display chronicled events such as curling, speed skating, bobsledding, snow boarding and so much more.