County scholars explore science

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 3, 2000

Chesapeake Middle School eighth-grader Ashley Bragg might not have had a choice of whether or not to do a science fair project, but she’s glad she did.

Friday, March 03, 2000

Chesapeake Middle School eighth-grader Ashley Bragg might not have had a choice of whether or not to do a science fair project, but she’s glad she did.

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"I like learning about other things and seeing how well I can do in it," Miss Bragg said.

Her project about the human eye gave Miss Bragg a special insight into the world of science, that many of the other 151 county fair participants shared.

"I did my project on surface tension and how it affects water tornadoes," said Vanessa Copley, Fairland Middle School eighth-grader. "My hypothesis wasn’t right, so I learned a lot with that."

Even though most schools make science fair projects mandatory, Miss Copley would never voluntarily give up the experience.

"I think it’s pretty interesting," she said. "Everyone learns from a science fair project, not just the person who’s doing it, but the people who are seeing it."

Including the judges who interview the middle schoolers.

Ralph Lunsford was amazed at the detail in some of the projects.

"Some of them are really good," Lunsford said. "I just finished one on X-rays and, for an eighth-grader, he went to great lengths. He knew a lot more about it than I did."

Students are judged on their oral communication skills during their presentation, the details included in their report and the knowledge of the scientific method, Lunsford said.

"This year is different," he said. "You see a lot more use of computers. The kids are using the Internet. But they are still learning."

Dawson-Bryant Middle School seventh-graders Trisha Freeman and Kayla Lawless came up with their idea for discovering how cans collapse by surfing the web.

"We learned how air pressure works and how volcanoes work," Miss Freeman said. "We were surfing the web when we found this project and we favored it more than others. We liked the idea of crushing cans."

But that’s not the only reason Miss Freeman decided to do her experiment.

"I’m like a knowledge freak," she said. "I like to do a lot of extra credit work and we thought it would be neat to learn something we didn’t know about."

Winners in this year’s county science fair include:

– Sixth-grade winners: Fairland’s Nick Kuhn placed first; Chesapeake’s Nicole Riedel, second; and St. Lawrence’s Josh Lewis, third.

– Behavioral and Social Science winners: South Point’s Miriah Gillispie placed first; South Point’s Eric Singley, second; and Chesapeake’s Pam Ratliff, third.

– Botany winners: Chesapeake’s Josh Moore placed first; Chesapeake’s Elizabeth Workman, second; and Ironton’s Andrea Rudmann, third.

– Engineering winners: Symmes Valley’s Tyler Bowman placed first; and Symmes Valley’s Sasha Taylor, second.

– Medicine and Health winners: Ironton’s Valerie Keating placed first; Chesapeake’s Sarah Waggoner placed second; and Fairland’s Katy Garrett placed third.

– Mathematics winner: Chesapeake’s Scott Davidson placed first.

– Chemistry winners: South Point’s Anna Keffer placed first; Chesapeake’s Sarah Graham, second; and Fairland’s Daniel Holderby, third.

– Earth and Space winners: Ironton’s Matthew Delong placed first; Symmes Valley’s Kyle Taylor, second; and South Point’s Tamara Grubb, third.

– Environmental winners: Ironton’s Brianna McCown and Meghan O’Brien placed first; Dawson-Bryant’s Erin Carpenter, second; and Chesapeake’s Carrie Adams, third.

– Microbiology winner: Chesapeake’s Francesca Karle placed first.

– Physics winners: South Point’s Stefanie Teran placed first; St. Joe’s Subhash Kumar Kadim, second; and Symmes Valley’s Nick Thorton and Katie Wilson, third.

– Zoology winners: Ironton’s Anthony Rice placed first; Chesapeake’s Joey Stallo, second; and Symmes Valley’s Ian Runyun, third.

– Team winners: Dawson-Bryant’s Blair Potter and Lezah Cook placed first; Dawson-Bryant’s Darius Porter and Aaron Fields, second; and Dawson-Bryant’s Krystle Kimbler and Kristen Lawless, third.

With 118 total points, South Point eighth-grader Miriah Gillispie was the leader at this year’s fair with her project entitled "Music vs. Lyrics."