Future scientists show off projects | RecordCourier.com

Future scientists show off projects

by Caryn Haller
Fourth-grader Kendall Amador talks to judge Ralph Fargnoli about her science fair project, Pink Science, at Meneley Elementary School on Tuesday.
Shannon Litz | The Record-Courier

Megan Michitarian’s first-grade class proved a hypothesis beyond their years at Meneley Elementary School’s science fair on Tuesday.

The project was one of 244, which ranged from how temperature affects the bounce of balls, to which method dries nail polish the quickest.

The first-graders tested what color M&M gets the most cracks when heated in the microwave.

“I love science and we don’t get to teach it as much in the first grade,” Michitarian said. “I thought it would be a good project for them to work together on.”

The class spent two weeks testing their hypothesis.

“They were excited about it,” Michitarian added. “They love science as well, and they don’t get hands-on science and experiments.”

The yellow M&Ms cracked the most.

Wanting to know which bird seed she should feed the birds in her yard was the inspiration for fourth-grader Molly Cloutier’s science fair project.

“I think I did pretty good on it,” the 9-year-old said. “I liked doing the board because we used spray glue instead of regular glue.”

Molly placed mixed seed, thistle seed and safflower seed in upside down frisbees and hung them from a tree in her backyard.

“They liked to perch on the edge of the frisbee instead of eating it off the ground,” Molly said. “They liked the mixed seed the most.”

Fair coordinator Cathy Hackler said she was happy with this year’s entries.

“We try to guide children away from getting a project from the Internet and do a project on something they wondered about,” Hackler said. “There’s a lot of different ones this year. I’m delighted.”

First-time judge Gary Marshall heard from eight students on their projects.

“I’m impressed. The quality of work is great. A lot of kids put in a lot of effort,” Marshall said. “They put a lot of time into their projects. They didn’t just throw them together.”

Matthew VanPatten, 9, tested if water temperature affects the rate that sugar dissolves.

“I found all the materials I needed at home,” he said. “It was really fun. After all the sugar dissolved, me and my sister had a water fight.”

Matthew dissolved 1 teaspoon of sugar in hot, room temperature and cold water.

He discovered hot water dissolved the sugar the fastest — 20 seconds.

“I thought it turned out really good,” he said. “My sister helped me time it, but the rest I did myself.”

Seven of the top projects will compete at the Western Nevada Regional Science and Engineering Fair in March.