Glenelg High School students put scientific know-how on display


January 03, 2002|By Lorraine Gingerich | Lorraine Gingerich,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

YOU COULD learn how different mouthwashes affect bacteria or how much fertilizer a plant needs at the annual Glenelg High School Science Fair. Projects ranged from physics and chemistry to environmental science and microbiology at the Dec. 13 event. Each project was evaluated by three judges, and contestants with the highest averages were declared overall winners.

The overall first-place winner was freshman Sarah Mohl. Her project focused on the effects of brain lateralization - the functions of the right and left sides of the brain - on eye-hand coordination. In her study, she had 20 adults trace a star while looking in a mirror.

Sarah tested different combinations in which subjects used their right or their left hands while looking with their right or left eyes. Everyone in the study was right-handed, and no one wore prescription glasses. However, participants did wear "Harry Potter" glasses, Sarah said, with alternate lenses covered.

She was required to compete in the science fair as a course requirement in her gifted-and-talented biology class. She has been working on the project since September, she said, and has learned a lot.

"I learned handedness, and I had the opportunity to interview an optometrist," Sarah said. Her results showed that using the right hand and the right eye proved the most successful combination.

Harper Kubicek and Jessica Slick were second-place overall winners with their study of how de-icers affect concrete. Overall third-place winner was Cory Perdue, who studied various types of temperature control.

Competition at the fair was divided into several categories, with first-, second- and third-place winners in each group.

Jessica Hibbert tied for first place in animal biology with a team consisting of Gracie Anderson and Sarah Chapdelaine, who reviewed the effect of the national anthem on heart rate.

Jessica's study, "Effectiveness of Sunblocks," was as interesting as it was practical. With a UVA sensor, she tested four brands of sunblocks and determined which brands kept the most UVA rays from reaching the sensor.

"It's really interesting to have a really good idea to begin with," Jessica said. "I followed through, working diligently to reach the end result."

Ryan Corces-Zimmerman's project, "Forensic Science," placed second in the category of animal biology, while Genevieve Jacobs was third with her analysis of the freshness of eggs with magnetic resonance imaging scans.

Sarah Mohl placed first in the category of behavioral science with her eye-hand coordination experiments, and Timothy Silva's study of the effect of age on the ability to read encryption was second. Michelle Morgan placed third with her inquiry into whether caffeine affects the ability to do brain teasers.

In chemistry, the team of Harper Kubicek and Jessica Slick won first place with their concrete report, and Todd Dutton came in second with his project, "Catalyzed H2O2 Decomposition Producing Energy." Alicia Meade demonstrated the effect of salinity on steam pressure for third place.

Bobby Corrigan was the sole winner in the earth science category with his study of "GPS [Global Positioning System] Accuracy."

In engineering and computer science, Cory Perdue placed first for his study of the effects of different thermostats on temperature control, tying with Rebecca Tursell's study examining the sturdiness of bridges. Third-place winner Sarah Kurtzman analyzed whether Denny board or foam has better insulation value.

Steve Walsh and Jared Wilder were the first-place team and the only winners in the environmental category with their study of the effect of temperature on tornadoes.

An analysis of gargling with mouthwash or tea won teammates Brittany Gibbons and Danielle Morgan top honors in microbiology. Mary Rollyson placed second for her work on the effect of cleansers on bacterial counts, with Jacqueline Glaser getting third place for her report on the effect of different mouthwashes on bacteria.

Lindsey Dombert took first place in physics for her investigation of projectile motion using a catapult. The second-place winner was Ashley Sales-Diller for her study of "Crater Ejecta and Radius versus Kinetic Energy." In a tie for third place, Dan Wasyluk won for showing how to protect against small electromagnetic pulses, and the team of Dan Schmitz and David Geckle won for demonstrating the conductivity of different metals.

Drew Graybeal's study of the effect of ultraviolet light on plant growth won him first place in plant biology. Nicole Boguslaw studied how much fertilizer a plant needs, for second place. Tying for third were Fiona Vismans' "Effect of EM Field on Growth of Grass" and team members Kelly Hollrah and Sean Spendley's "Aquatic Plants and Water pH."

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