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Middleton scientists present experiments
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Saturday, April 05, 2014 4:59 AM
Waylln Marshall, right, spins his “junkyard windmill” while classmate Matthew Burnhardt, left, holds the device that was on display at the Lydia Middleton Fourth-Grade Science Fair. Spinning the top of the device generates enough electricity to turn on the light bulbs attached below. (Staff photo by Steve Dickersonfirstname.lastname@example.org)
Young scientists displayed their work at Lydia Middleton Elementary School this week during the school's annual fourth-grade science fair.
Students exhibited their projects inside the gymnasium for community members. The event was originally scheduled in February but was postponed due to weather.
Fourth-grader Waylln Marshall built a "junkyard windmill" with his father. By attaching part of a ceiling fan to a boat paddle and connecting the fan's wires to some magnets, Waylln's windmill is capable of generating 22.5 volts of electricity when he gives it a good spin.
It's enough to light two light bulbs attached to the boat paddle.
"It's a better way to use electricity," Waylln said. "It conserves more."
Keara Eder created an experiment to see if a plant would receive enough light to grow if the light were being reflected through a maze.
The experiment didn't reveal the results Keara expected.
The seed didn't grow into a plant, but Keara wasn't discouraged.
"We found a quote from Thomas Edison that we liked: 'I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work,'" she said.
Keara listed several reasons why her experiment might not have worked the way she had hoped.
After taking swimming lessons, Leighton Wielgoszanki wanted to know what made some things float and others sink, so he created a project about buoyancy and density.
In order for an object to float or be buoyant, Leighton said, it needs to have less density than what it is floating in.
He tested that theory by placing an egg into glasses filled with different liquids such as water, hand soap and motor oil, and trying to predict which liquids would support the egg.
"I mostly used everyday stuff from around the house," Leighton said.
Ruby Jacobs and Hailey Jenkins created an experiment to see which food items - when placed in a bottle of water - would produce the most methane gas.
They tested blueberries, onions and lettuce.
"We found out onions produced the most gas," Ruby said.
Matthew Burnhardt also submitted an experiment. The dog-loving fourth-grader wanted to know if it was possible to identify a dog based on their nose.
He took prints of his dogs and some friends' dogs to see the differences between size and breed.
His experiment was a success.
Also on exhibit at the science fair was a portable Star Lab planetarium, presentations from Leslie Grow of the Raptor Rehabilitation Center at Hardy Lake, an exhibit from the Rivers Institute at Hanover College and science inquiries with Hanover College Students in the auditorium.
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