Young scientists earn awards at science fair |

Young scientists earn awards at science fair

by Trent Carruthers

Four Meneley Elementary School students won awards at the Western Nevada Science and Engineering Fair and Lemelson Inventor’s Challenge in Reno last month.

The students advanced to the competition after winning their grade divisions during the school’s science fair that took place last fall and the inventor’s convention in February.

“This is a huge honor for our students,” said Cathy Hackler, a Meneley science teacher who organized both of the school’s qualifying events. “I’m very proud of the time and effort they put into these projects.”

Hackler entered 12 inventions and 12 science projects in the regional fair. Each one had won its respective category during the school’s competition.

“The judges looked for a project’s creativity, use of scientific method in a practical purpose, and ingenuity,” she said.

The fair featured more than 1,200 science projects and nearly 200 inventions. All the projects and inventions had previously won school competitions.

Trey Maynor won the third-grade competition for his invention “Glovemaster,” a creation that used a scrubber glove and a cloth glove to wash dishes. He won a trophy and a $100 U.S. Savings Bond.

“I hate washing dishes and was looking for an invention to make it easier,” Trey said. “It was exciting to win. I like science. It is my favorite subject.”

Sixth-grader Adriana Romanowitz won a runner-up trophy for her science project “Need Nitrates? No!”

“Nitrates are bad for the body and can cause cancer,” said Adriana, whose project involved testing her water well at home in Minden as well as two other wells in Gardnerville and Ruhenstroth. “I used a nitrate kit and took nine samples, three at each well.”

After doing her project, Adriana’s parents purchased a nitrate filter to reduce the amount of the chemicals entering the home’s water supply.

The judges in Reno were impressed with her research and discovery.

Taylor McKinnon, a fourth-grader, placed third for her project “B-B-Bouncing Temperatures.”

The young scientist heated or froze similar-sized rubber balls to determine how high they would bounce afterward.

She discovered that a ball heated in an oven at 170 degrees for 15 minutes shortly afterward bounced 42 feet. One frozen in dry ice only bounced two inches.

“My project was a fun way to learn science,” she said.

Fourth-grader Hanna Rutherford took fourth for her invention “Bone Blaster,” a handy item that unleashes a spring that fires a ball through a tube, which allows a handicapped person to throw a ball for a dog.