Curiosity, Pride Fill Science Fair Participants


Payson Elementary student James Lloyd hypothesized that soda pop would rust a nail faster than lemon juice, tap water or salt water.

He placed a nail in different cups of liquid and then observed which nail corroded fastest.


"I like the idea of making volcanoes!" said fourth-grader Natalie Moceri, who spent a few nights working at home on her science project. When she mixed vinegar with baking soda, a drop of soap and red food coloring her volcano erupted just as fast as she thought it would.

He learned that his hypothesis was false because the chlorine in tap water accelerated the rusting process.

Lloyd was among the more than 100 budding gardeners, bubble gum product testers and laboratory chemists who set up their displays at Payson Elementary School's annual science fair.

"I really encourage my kids to participate in the fair because they get so excited," said teacher Sally Rohrbach. "I give them simple experiment sheets to come up with ideas so parents don't have to unless they want to."

Some of her second-graders really got involved in the projects they were required to present to their class -- good practice for when the projects were displayed for the parents and the entire school later on.

To wonder "what if" is human nature. It leads to the first component of the scientific process, the development of a hypothesis.

Elaine Ely did her homework and learned that fat helps to keep penguins and seals warm.

The second-grade student's model consisted of an explanation board, a bowl of cool water and two baggies full of lard taped together.

When your hand is surrounded by the fat you didn't feel the temperature of the water because Ely wrote, "Fat makes your body temperature higher."

Balloonist Becky Radimaker picked out her own project and created her balloon out of tissue paper with her parents' help. Undaunted by a tear in one of the balloon's seams, Radimaker sealed the leak with tape. Hot air from a blow dryer was trapped inside her balloon -- she had to catch it before it flew to the ceiling.

Third-grader Frankie Gonzalez made a ramp to roll a marble down. He wanted to know whether the marble would move different sizes of matchbox-style cars at the bottom.

The fair gave Skyler Tuer the opportunity to combine math, science and baseball in his experiment. Skyler thought that a metal bat would make baseballs fly farther than a wooden bat.

His father pitched four balls at each bat.

The wooden bat was the clear winner -- the balls flew 34 and 29 feet further respectively.

Analyzing the data from his experiment was smellier that John Flum had originally imagined.

He thought a plant watered with sugar water would grow faster and healthier than simply using water.

He learned that although sugar keeps the soil moist it also encourages organisms to grow. The organisms make the soil smell bad and cause less water to get to the plants roots.

Probably not taking their ideas from the 1924 song, "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor (On the Bedpost Overnight?)" several young product testers asked a question important to children everywhere.

Third-grader Gabriel Martinez determined that Extra-brand gum did indeed last an extra long time, 28 minutes as compared to 21 minutes for Bubblicious.

Other product testing included finding out what type of candle burned the longest and what brand of paper towel absorbed the most liquid.

Entering a project in the science fair is not mandatory, but those that do get a participation certificate.

The enthusiasm of the students for their projects was palpable. They were eager to show off what they had done to their friends and answer questions about their projects.

Rim Country Middle School had its own science fair until a couple of years ago. The winners went on to at Arizona Sate University.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.