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Friday, March 2, 2012

UNC Pembroke stages Region IV Science Fair

Contestants and their families spent a long and exciting day on February 11 at UNC Pembroke’s 31st annual Region IV Science Fair.

Mihayle Clawges

Mihayle Clawges

Black Line

Science fair contestants ranged from students in elementary school to high school students. The participants, from as far away as Harnett, Moore and Columbus counties, toured campus, ate in the cafeteria and were entertained by Rick Brown’s “Science Adventures,” while the judges evaluated the 133 entries.

Many, like Amy Shuler and her four children, were attending their first science fair. They were in for treat. “We were watching the women’s basketball team practice,” Shuler said, “and they shared cupcakes with us; that was so nice of them.”

Elizabeth Shuler, whose father is an ophthalmologist in Pinehurst, entered a project that asked the question: What color do you see first in peripheral vision? “I did it over Christmas with all my aunts and uncles,” she said.

Elizabeth’s mother was pleased with the day. “It was a long day, especially for the baby who didn’t get a nap,” she said. “UNCP does a good job with this.”

Mihayle Clawges, a fifth grader from Highland Elementary School in Harnett County, submitted a project asking the question: Does playing violent video games raise blood pressure and heart rate? “I tested 13 people between the ages of seven and 45,” she explained.

Clawges, whose trifold display contained not only data, but also plenty of decorative  ribbons, advanced to state competition. It was the first science fair for Mihayle and her mother, Mary, who also brought her high school-age son for a look at UNCP.

“It was the first time anyone from our elementary school entered the science fair,” Mary said. “She got some good pointers from the judges. I will have two children entered next year.”

Jennifer Pratt

Jennifer Pratt

Black Line

Jennifer Pratt, representing Long Hill Elementary School in Cumberland County, got the idea for her project after her brother’s’s diaper failure. Her project sought to answer: “What brand is holds the most fluid?”

“My project took up our dining room for a month,” Pratt said. “The brand that won had the most polymers. A polymer is a substance that has similar molecular patterns.”

It was the first science fair for Davita Brockington, a third-year chemistry major at UNCP. Although she wasn’t eligible to compete, she said she likes kids and science and thought it would be a good way to spend a Saturday.

“My favorite was an elementary school project that tested which material hit a baseball the farthest,” she said. “They were all excited and enthusiastic. Some of the kids were shy and with others; you only had to ask one question and they told you everything about their project.”

ADVANCED SCIENCE

For Anne Talkington, a senior from Massey Hill Classical School in Fayetteville, it was her third trip to UNCP’s Science Fair. She was the overall winner on her first try and won the Senior Engineering and Technology Division and several other awards this year.

“I’m back with a new project,” Talkington said. “My other project was washed down the river, so to speak.”

Talkington had been studying water quality in Hope Mills Lake when the dam burst. In contrast, her new project is entirely theoretical.

“I developed a mathematical equation that models the population growth of microbes,” she said. “I’ve been working with Dr. Len Holmes.”

Dr. Holmes, who directs UNCP’s Biotechnology Center, said he spotted Talkington as an outstanding student at the Science Fair three years ago. He discussed her project.

“In her calculus class (at Massey Hill), she learned about some of the mathematical properties of a particular formula called the MacLaurin Series and adapted to study the rate of growth of symbiont bacteria,” Dr. Holmes said. “It is very unique in that she uses an analytical approach, whereas conventional methods use more subjective estimations.  

“Calculations done with Anne’s modified formula were in very high agreement with calculations done the old-fashioned way,” he continued. “Her work is significant because it may help microbiologists quantify environmental effects on population growth. We are now writing her work for submission and publication.”

Chris Lane, who spent seven weeks in a Duke University lab last summer, won the grand prize at the Region IV Science Fair. A student at Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville, his project was titled “Probing Protein-Ligand Interactions Using The Stability of Proteins From Rates of Oxidation (SPROX) Method.”

*    *    *

Elementary Division: Honorable Mention
Tyler Strickland, Alderman Road Elementary School
Savannah Mullis, Alderman Road Elementary School
Taylor Leonard, Armstrong Elementary School
Caleb Denning, Angier Elementary School
Riley Pratt, Long Hill Elementary School
Isaiah Gilliam (no school name available)
Jacob Viau, South Harnett Elementary School
Braxton Allen, Erwin Elementary School
Jonathan Piland, Eastover-Central
Sebastian Jozefowicz, Beaver Dam

Elementary Division: Winners (advances to state competition)
Anna Kuzma, West Pine Elementary School
Dylan Lawson(no school name available)
Brandon Haynes, Candor Elementary School
Payton Coble, Mount Gilead Elementary School
Mihayle Clawges, Highland Elementary School
Dylan Horlebein, Sherwood Park Elementary School
Abigail Parnell, St. Pauls Elementary School
Amber MacKillop, Green Ridge Elementary School

Junior - Biological Science A
Honorable Mention: Jacob Hurr, Western Harnett Middle School
3rd Place: Channing Robeson, Clarkton School of Discovery
2nd Place: Zachary Burns, Western Harnett Middle School
1st Place: Taryn Cochran, East Hoke Middle School

Junior - Biological Science B (Divisional)
Honorable Mention: Nicholas Pontin, South View Middle School
3rd Place: Jordan Saunders, East Hoke Middle School
2nd Place: Benjamin Snodgrass, East Hoke Middle School
1st Place: Robert Meggs, Clarkton School of Discovery

Junior - Chemistry (Divisional)
Honorable Mention: Melina Wilkins, Clarkton School of Discovery
3rd Place: Sarah Koonce, Vanstory Hills Elementary School
2nd Place: Joshua Carter and Ian Gainan, Western Harnett Middle School
1st Place: Maggie Patterson, Western Harnett Middle School

Junior - Earth/Environmental Science (Divisional)
Honorable Mention: Destiny Dunham, East Hoke Middle School
3rd Place: Kyra Nehls, Max Abbott Middle School
2nd Place: Allyson Buzzard, Harnett Central Middle School
1st Place: Cody Kaplan, East Hoke Middle School

Junior - Physics (Divisional)
Honorable Mention: Alexander Jaggers, Western Harnett Middle School
3rd Place: Jordan Adcox, Overhills Middle School
2nd Place: Hannah Allison, Clarkton School of Discovery
1st Place: Nishma Vias and Janay Hall, Max Abbott Middle School

Junior - Technology/Engineering (Divisional)
Honorable Mention: Kenny Lemaster, Harnett Central Middle
3rd Place: Joshua Fernandez, East Hoke Middle School
2nd Place: Dawson Jessup, Clarkton School of Discovery
1st Place: Ross Johnson, Clarkton School of Discovery

Senior - Biological Science A
1st Place: Myatt Person, North Moore High School

Senior - Biological Science B
1st Place: Chris Lane, Jack Britt High School

Senior - Chemistry (Divisional)
1st Place: Kaylen Cutler, Whiteville High School

Senior - Technology/Engineering (Divisional)
2nd Place: Ja'kee Brown, East Bladen High School
1st Place: Anne Talkington, Massey Hill Classical School

Fisher Scientific Prizes
Dillon Lawson, Massey Hill Classical High School
Brandon Haynes, Candor Elementary School
Sebastian Jozefowicz, Beaver Dam Elementary School

Air Force Association (Special)

Junior Division ($50 cash)
Caleb Chandler, East Hoke Middle School

Senior Division ($50 cash)
Anne Talkington, Massey Hill Classical High School

Navy Junior (Special)
Sponsored by: Office of Naval Research
Emily Corella, East Hoke Middle School
Kyra Nehls, Max Abbott Middle School
Nishma Vias, Max Abbott Middle School
Janay Hall, Max Abbott Middle School
Joshua Fernandez, East Hoke Middle School

Navy Senior Award ($50 cash)
Sponsored by: Office of Naval Research
Kaylen Cutler, Whiteville High School
Anne Talkington, Massey Hill Classical High School
Ja'kee Brown, East Bladen High School

Metcon Construction Company Award

Elementary
Mary Annalisa Dole, Long Hill Elementary School
Riley Pratt, Long Hill Elementary School
Brandon Shepard, Long Hill Elementary School
Abigail Parnell,Saint Pauls Elementary School
Amber MacKillop, Green Ridge Elementary School
Madeline Denoncour, South View Middle School
Ross Johnson, Clarkton School of Discovery
Kenny Lemaster, Harnett Central Middle School
 Brandon Blake, East Hoke Middle School

Lumbee River Electric Membership Cooperative Award ($50)
Caleb Hathcock, Mount Gilead Elementary School

Junior Division ($50 cash)
Hannah Allison, Clarkton School of Discovery

Senior Div ($50 cash)
Ja'kee Brown, East Bladen High School

Biotech Award (Sponsored by: ComTech - $200)
Anne Talkington, Massey Hill Classical High School

McDonald’s Award ($500 scholarship)
Chris Lane, Jack Britt High School

Dr. Dalton Brooks Award ($100)
Sponsored by: Department of Chemistry & Physics
Matt Person, North Moore High School

Overall Winner
Chris Lane, Jack Britt High School

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