Friday, September 19, 2014
   
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Science fair: Projects test everything from spit to splats

Do child-proof lids on prescription medications really keep children out of the bottles?

Eighth-grader Kylee Beyea decided to find out.

For her science project in Cathy Larson’s class, Beyea handed prescription bottles with child-proof lids to 20 children in kindergarten, first, second and third grades.

She asked them to try and open the bottles.

“Almost all of them got the lids off,” she said, proving that child-proof doesn’t actually prevent youngsters from getting into prescription medicines.

Beyea was the gold medalist from Gothenburg in the life science category of the annual science fair conducted by Larson. She was a silver medalist last year.

Braeden Brundage took a very different route with his gold-medal project in the physical science category.

Brundage’s “Paintball Ballistics” tested the effect temperature has on the size of splat made by paintballs.

“I wanted to see which is most active—hot, cold or room temperature,” Brundage said.

His shooting found that room temperature paint balls worked best, followed by cold.

Surprisingly, he said, hot paint balls don’t work as well.

Science fair projects for Larson’s class touched on topics everywhere between child-proof lids and paintballs.

Some example questions include: What is the best temperature for growing crystals? Which lasts longer in the refrigerator, an apple or banana? Which brand of chocolate is preferred, Dove or Hershey? Who texts faster, girls or boys? Do kindergarten teachers walk more during school than high school teachers? Do girls have better balance than boys?

Yucky stuff like mold is what earned Jonathan Griffis and his group project “Mold, Mold Everywhere” a gold medal.

Griffis said his group studied how quickly mold on bread spread when water was added.

Medal and ribbon winners, who were determined by a team of judges, automatically qualify for the Western Regional Science Fair in North Platte next month. Others are allowed to enter as well, Larson said.

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