E-Interview with Ms. Alia Hollister

This post is one in a new series of profiles of exceptional teachers and staff members at McPherson Elementary School. 

Today, we are profiling Ms. Alia Hollister! She teaches science and runs the STEM Fair Celebration. We asked her to answer a few questions about her involvement at McPherson.


First - we'd love to hear about you! How long have you worked at McPherson? What is your position there?

The 2018-19 school year will be my eighth year teaching at McPherson. I am part of the science teacher team which includes myself and Ms. Dosch. 

Tell us about the STEM Fair Celebration. What ages participate? 

The grade level of students who participate in the STEM Fair Celebration are our sixth through eighth graders. 

What's your favorite part about heading up the science fair?

The STEM Fair Celebration is an exciting event where our students present to judges. The judges are college students, professors, and McPherson parents. Ms. Dosch and I named the event STEM Fair Celebration because students from K-5 are asked to come to the event and do short interviews with the middle school students. Presenting students report that they find this to be very rewarding because they can see the eyes of a say 3rd grader light up with aha moments and interest. It is a very fulfilling event. 

Can you describe a favorite project or a highlight from a recent science fair event?

The projects are so diverse. At their varying abilities and grade levels, students come up with questions that can be answered best using the scientific method of inquiry. One student tested the strength of DNA strands exposed to varying substances. This student was chosen to represent McPherson at the regional level and then the city level. Other students showed great resilience and creativity in creating not only an eye-catching board but also obtaining the knowledge and experience to skillfully present to our judges. 

What goals do you have for STEM Fair Celebration going forward?

The STEM Fair Celebration always has room for improvement. One of my goals is to encourage more students to do engineering and design projects. 

Thanks, Ms. Hollister, for your time and devotion to McPherson students! 

Friends of McPherson