Liberty Christian: 41 students move to regional science fair

Liberty Christian: 41 students move to regional science fair

by Vivian Nichols

Answering questions from “What vehicle has the best gas mileage?” to “Is your toothbrush making you sick?” middle and upper school students at Liberty Christian School sought to discover scientific ways to solve some of life’s quandaries during Liberty’s annual Science Fair.

“I love seeing students deliver their science fair displays the morning of the fair, proud of their work and eager to share what they learned with their teachers, friends, and judges,” said Upper School Science Department Chair Heather Lytle. “It is so valuable in one’s school career to brainstorm questions, explore and develop hypotheses, and create experimental procedures to answer scientific and many times practical questions.”

In a special assembly on Jan. 27, students applauded their peers who received first, second, and third place in each of the fair’s categories, ranging from animal science to engineering mechanics.

Judges from the community including doctors, engineers and other professionals were also thanked for spending the day with students to find out more about each project in the interview process.

Middle School Science Chair Sue Gallo opened the ceremony, saying how proud she was of all of the students and how she looks forward to the students’ futures as possible scientists.

Junior Michael Becker, a Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars) scholar, spoke to students about the importance of the science fair.

His Middle School project in 8th grade, “Different Temperatures, Different Pitch,” earned him an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., and an opportunity to meet President Barack Obama as one of the top 30 science students in the nation. His involvement and dedication to science also led to his participating as part of the Solar Car team that traveled to Australia for the World Solar Car Challenge in October 2015.

Solar Car sponsors Brent Dragoo and Evan Hunt also addressed the students, encouraging them to participate in Robotics/STEM.

“We have all seen some great things happen in our science department at Liberty,” Hunt said. “Our students have brought great work to the fair, and it is an honor to recognize them today.”

He thanked Liberty’s administration for its support and funding of the science department and the students who come to class with an open mind, ready to learn.

“After college, science enabled me to accept Jesus as my Savior,” he said. “Science points to our Creator.”

The top three winners in each category will head to the Regional Science Fair at the University of Texas in Arlington Feb. 22, which will include interviews with judges and a visit to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History for a tour of exhibits, hands-on activities, and a viewing of “Coral Reef Adventure” at the Omni Theatre before the awards ceremony that evening.

“I anticipate many winners at regionals advancing to the state science fair in April,” Gallo said.

Senior Division – 9th Grade Entry Winners:

Third Place: David Alvarez, Cameron Baller, and Colin Monaco

Second Place: Ashley Howard, Morgan Monschke, and Kelsey Nordlund

First Place: Andy Liu, Mason Packwood, and Hayden Winter

Middle school ribbon winners:

Third Place: Ryne Bishop, Chemistry, “Flammability of Fabrics”; Corbin Blumberg, Plant Science, “Can Aloe Vera Juice Stop Mold?”; Wyatt Chappel, Biochemistry, “Is Your Toothbrush Making You Sick?”; Kate Duininck, Earth and Environmental Science, “My Project is Cooler than Yours”; Ben Folk, Chemistry, “Fired Up”; Jackson Hagen, Material Science, “Diaper Man”; Tyler Lundblade, Plant Science, “To Grow or Not to Grow”; Connor Menckhoff, Energy: Physical, “Mr. Magnet, Are You More Attractive?”; Bailey Shiflet, Plant Science, “Magic of Magnets”; Pippa Tedford, Chemistry, “Mint in Water”; Lindsay Tito, Chemistry, “Orange Acidity Fun Time”; and Truett Walker, Engineering Mechanics, “Producing Current with Magnets”; and Tripp Weatherby, Environmental Engineering, “Which Vehicle has the Best Gas Mileage?”

Second Place: Christian Cobos, Software Systems, “Got Wi-Fi”; Emily Creel, Material Science, “Ice Ice Baby”; Austin Graves, Earth and Environmental Science, “Which Magnet is Stronger?”; Alex Hollenshead, Energy: Physical, “Cheating in Baseball”; Emma Lobbes, Plant Science, “Which Poo is for You? Part Doo”; Brady Martin, Plant Science, “Living Colors”; Micah Martin, Energy: Physical, “Ballistics in Motion”; Nathan McCray, Energy: Physical, “Will It Make the Loop?”; Jax Porter, Material Science, “Tooth Test”; Will Pearson, Energy: Physical, “Duct Tape Kevlar”; Drennan Ryan, Chemistry, “Here Comes the Sun”; Zach Salter, Energy: Physical, “Burn, Baby, Burn”; and Laura Williams, Behavior and Social Science, “The Music in Me.”

First Place: Ryan Allison, Energy: Physical, “Pump It Up”; Braeden Baller, Chemistry, “Mixed Reactions”;  Alyssa Earle, Materials Science, “Cold as Ice”; Kendall Jones, Plant Science, “Better Plant Growth with Hydroponics?”; Nathan Kosub, Robotics and Intelligent Machines, “Watts Up?”; Jackson McCullough, Energy: Physical, “Catching with Music”; Peyton Necaise, Plant Science, “Java Plants”; Luke Rosprim, Energy: Physical, “Basket Ball Bounce”; Colby Sessums, Animal Sciences, “Horses and Heartbeats”; Lilly Smith, Earth and Environmental Science, “Do Some Substrates Help Plans Grow Better in Hydroponics?”; Hannah Taylor, Engineering Mechanics, “Shell Pattern Problem”; and Smaran Thota, Energy: Physical, “Which Melts the Slowest?”

Top three overall best in fair winners:

Third Place Best in Fair: Addison Hudelson, Engineering Mechanics, “The Strongest Shape”

Second Place Best in Fair: Mary Harshfield, Microbiology, “Dating: Right or Udderly Wrong?”

First Place Best in Fair: Kelly Becker, Energy: Physical, “Density: Does It Really Matter?”

Hudelson said he got the idea for his science project from the 3D printer he received as a Christmas gift two years ago. His problem question asked, “Which 3D shape (prism) can withstand the greatest compression force?” His hypothesis stated, “A cylinder is stronger than a triangular prism and a rectangular prism when compressed because a cylinder has no joints to break under pressure.”

His board included information regarding materials, procedures, data tables, graphs, and results. His conclusion stated that the hypothesis was correct.

His application stated, “The information shown in this experiment has countless applications in construction such as building bridges, supporting ceilings, and more. For example, cylinders create stronger supports for bridges than rectangular prisms.”

Harshfield said she came up with her science fair project idea while eating cereal for breakfast at home one morning. Her problem question asked, “Is the dating on milk an accurate predictor of spoilage?” Her hypothesis stated, “Milk which is at the expiration date will have more bacteria, smell badly and taste sour.”

Her board included her materials list, procedures, Redox indicator tests, data charts, data tables, and results. Her conclusion stated, “The hypothesis was partially proven, but only from a smell standpoint. The hypothesis was disproven from a taste and bacterial content standpoint. The expiration date on milk is accurate, and the milk is safe to drink even a few days after it expires. The five samples of milk did not go bad from a bacterial perspective for several days past the due date.”

Becker said she got the idea for her project by wanting to make a soundproof room to play her flute. Her problem question asked, “How does the density of a material impact sound levels?” Her hypothesis stated, “Materials with higher density will have a great impact on reducing the sound levels.”

Her conclusion said, “The hypothesis was as follows: materials with higher density will have a greater impact on reducing the sound levels. As the density of the material increased, the sound levels generally decreased. However, there was not a perfect correlation between density and its impact on sound levels. Therefore, the material itself has an effect on sound levels.”

Vivian Nichols is communication specialist for Liberty Christian School.

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