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County science fair brings out best, brightest

Charlie Brown’s little sis knew it all along. Linus can make your heart sing; it always did for Sally.

And it did the same for Mackenzie Blankenship’s mom. Mackenzie knows that for a fact because checking out her mother’s heart rate was the exhibit that got the Rock Hill Middle School student to the county-wide science fair.

Using a heart monitor, Mackenzie played jazz, soft country and a quicker style before bringing on the big guns, a recording of Linus playing his Liberace-esque piano.

That sent Krista Blankenship’s pulse soaring, at least a little more than did the other options.

“She thought it was funny we had an old song that she knew,” Mackenzie said.

Ironton Middle School played host to the fair Thursday morning that brought out a range of young investigative work.

Sarah Adkins and Kaitlin Lovejoy, both of Fairland Middle, proved that those hand sanitizers did work. They swabbed a light switch, a computer mouse and a lab floor and then grew those germs in special cultures. After 48-hours, time enough to let those icky germs get growing, they swabbed the same cultures with antibacterial soap and Germ-X. The Germ-X won.

The recent outbreak of swine flu was the basic inspiration for the two girls, they said.

“We wanted to see how we can clean up our surfaces,” Kaitlin said.

“We wanted to see what was going on in our world that affects us day to day,” Sarah said.

This was the team’s third fair and first time at a shot at an excellence or superior rating at a countywide event.

“It is exciting and we are really thrilled to be here,” Sarah said.

This was Kassidi Cox’s first time at a county fair and she researched the similarities of fingerprints within several generations of the same family, using herself, her mother, her grandmother and great-grandmother as model.

Right now Kassidi looks at science as a hobby, but would like to study to become a marine biologist later on.

Judges for the morning event said they were impressed with the variety of topics the students chose for their projects.

“They are well prepared and doing great speaking with us and are well informed,” Mary Virgin of Ohio University Southern campus, said.

Those students receiving top marks Thursday will go on to the regional fair at Shawnee State.

“At this level it is really impressive to hear the presentations the students give,” Stephanie Helms of the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District said.