Meneley, Piñon Hills host science fairs

What fruits do crickets prefer? Why is the sky blue? Does light cook a hot dog? Whose mouth is cleaner - a dog's or a human's? Students asked these burning questions and more as hypotheses for their science fair projects last week.

More than 230 projects were submitted by students from Piñon Hills and Meneley elementary schools as part of their annual science and engineering fairs. The top projects from each school proceed to the Western Nevada Regional Science Fair in Reno this spring.

They used traditional science project materials such as sponges, dish soap, table salt, ice, paper towels. Also used as science project materials that any mother would love - moldy French fries, curdled milk, live meal worms and cockroaches and dead rabbits. The students asked a question, made observations and stated conclusions.

Annie Paradzinski, 10, from Piñon Hills, combined science and art in her science project about the different textures of pottery. She said she's made pottery for a couple of years.

"I like to do pottery," said Annie. "My mom and me thought of the project and my mom gave me the idea of textures. Her friend is a potter. We own a potter's wheel and Mom makes things for presents."

The name of Meneley student Haley Douglas' experiment was called "My Chilled Out Soda."

"I wanted to know if soda color affects how long drinks will stay cold in the bottle," said Haley, 11. "My hypothesis was correct. The orange soda was the coldest. I guessed right."

She said her mother helped with her presentation and even though her grandfather is an engineer, she doesn't know if she'd like to be involved with science as a career.

"I like to watch TV and talk on the phone," Haley said.

Alec Baumer, 11, had a project at Meneley's science fair about fish called Swimming and Hiding.

"I didn't have to do a project but I wanted to do one," said Alec. "The fish were my goldfish. The hardest thing is to feed them once a day and make sure the water is clean."

Judging for the science fairs was done by volunteers from the community. It was Bently mechanical engineer David Van Wagenen's first time as a science fair judge.

"I found out through our volunteer organization at work that they were recruiting for volunteers and I thought it would be fun," said Van Wagenen. "It's really good to see kids thinking about science and science projects."

Results from Meneley Elementary School's Science and Engineering Fair:

Fourth-grade winners going to Western Nevada Regional Science Fair in Reno:

1st place Christian Lynch -Stained Teeth

2nd place Wesley Hundley - Spectacular Breakfast

3rd place Emily Grove - Rotten Teeth

3rd place Mathew Jones - Straight Flush

Additional fourth-grade winner:

3rd place Kelli Hergenrader - Got Cavities

Fifth-grade winners going to Reno:

1st place Yasmine Zafu - The Beat of my Heart

2nd place Taylor McKinnon - Hot Air Needs Space

3rd place Brandi Littler - Stuck on You

3rd place Colton Bates - Parachute Madness

Sixth-grade winners going to Reno:

1st place Kevin Owens - Radiating Rods

2nd place Hunter Fillmore - Rust vs. Vinegar

Additional sixth-grade winners:

Keelee Fisher and Kelsey Cryderman - A Bubble for your Thoughts


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