Thursday, March 21, 2002
REGION IV SCIENCE FAIR: Intelligence on display-Science fair projects exceed organizers’ expectations
By Venita Jenkins
PEMBROKE -- Budding young scientists from throughout the Cape Fear region exhibited their brainpower Wednesday at the 2002 Region IV Science Fair.
Staff photo by Ethan Hyman
Participants in the UNCP Region IV Science Fair take down theit displays at the end of the fair Wednesday.
Elizabeth Locklear, a junior at Red Springs High School, walked away with the top prize: a one-year scholarship at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and gifts from Fisher Scientific Co.
The scholarship is worth nearly $1,100. Fisher Scientific, which is based in Pittsburgh, sells scientific instruments, equipment and supplies.
Elizabeth’s project attempted to determine which town in Robeson County had the most pollution in its air. She used an index card and petroleum jelly to collect air particles in Lumberton, Red Springs, St. Pauls, Pembroke, Rennert and Fairmont. She concluded that Lumberton had the most air pollution, followed by St. Pauls.
Elizabeth started the project during the summer. It was developed from a similar project that won her second place last year.
Elizabeth said she was shocked that she won.
“I am not sure about studying science, but I believe I will use the tuition,” she said.
The caliber of projects exceeded the expectations of organizers, said Jose D’Arruda, the science fair coordinator and chairman of the university’s chemistry and physics department.
“It certainly reflects the quality of science instruction being taught in the schools,” he said.
There was an increase this year in the number of projects in the technology and applied science division. At least three students attempted to make a hovercraft using wood and a leaf blower. One student created a Robo Scarecrow. The project was designed to keep deer out of the garden.
“Students are now more interested in technology applications than they have (been) in the past,” D’Arruda said.
Several students said they faced tougher competition than in previous years.
“There were a lot of good projects,” said Rob Watson, a student at Sycamore Lane Middle School in Laurinburg. “A lot more than what I thought there would be. There are some smart people out there who had some good ideas.”
Rob’s project examined wind speed.
Catherine Williams, a ninth- grader at Fayetteville Academy, entered a project on the speed of snails on different surfaces. She said the experience gave her “a good lesson on scientific methods.”
Cherie Shaw helped Harnett County student Brittany Denton with her project on bacteria. Shaw, a friend of Brittany’s family, said the fair is a good experience for the students.
“No matter if they win or lose, the students have learned a valuable lesson about science,” she said.
At least 500 students from eight counties participated in the fair, which was held at the Jones Athletic Complex on the UNCP campus.
Middle and high school students competed in four divisions: applied science, physical science, biology and earth science.
The top two winners in each division will compete at the state level on April 26 in Raleigh.
This year’s science fair was dedicated to the late Don Averitte, a science teacher at Flora Macdonald Academy. He was a longtime supporter of the Region IV Science Fair. He and his students were involved with the fair for more than 30 years, D’Arruda said.
Staff writer Venita Jenkins can be reached at (910) 738-7630 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Reprint from Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer-Times
Updated: Thursday, November 11, 2010
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