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Department of Chemistry and Physics
PO Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372

Phone: 910.521.6247

Location: Oxendine Science Building, Room 3101
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1998 science fair (from fayetteville observer)

Thursday, March 26, 1998

Wastewater project tops UNCP science fair

By Wanda LaMontagne
Staff writer

PEMBROKE -- For his high school science project, Berry French turned hog wastewater into a one-year college scholarship.

French, an 11th-grader at Lumberton High School, won the grand prize Wednesday at the 20th Region IV Science Fair, sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Models of waterfalls, little plastic bags with molded food, trays of grass and other odd assortments covered long rows of tables in the university’s gymnasium. Judges with clipboards wandered through the aisles of displays, demonstrations and experiments while students and teachers waited for the results.

Nearly 450 students from the 11-county region entered science projects in one of three major categories: earth sciences, biological sciences, and applied science and technology.

French’s project studied how different soil additives would affect absorption of hog wastewater. To complete the project, French said he contacted local hog farmers for information and enlisted help from landscaper Keith Taylor.

French submitted a project last year involving soil additives and will probably do another next year. Yet he’s still not sure if this means he will go into the sciences when he enters college.

“I have no clue,” he said.

Sixth-grader Scarlette Hunt, who didn’t win Wednesday, said she read a science book and got her mother to buy the supplies for her model of the layers of the earth. She said she plans to enter next year, too.

Elementary students enter more projects than older students, Dr. Jose d’Arruda said. D’Arruda planned the first science fair at UNC-Pembroke in 1981 and said there were 25 entries that year.

The benefits of the fair are many, he said.

“It gets the kids on campus, and they get a look at the university. It gets kids into science, and it gets fathers and sons, mothers and daughters together, which is OK as long as the student does the work.”

Positive reinforcement becomes one of the more important results of the science fair, he said.

Fourth-grader Chris Moore’s mother, Kathy Larimore, agreed.

“It’s a confidence-builder,” she said.

First- and second-place winners in the junior and senior divisions along with eight elementary school winners will advance to the state science fair at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro.

Reprint from Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer-Times

Updated: Thursday, November 11, 2010

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