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Fairland High hosts science fair

ROME TOWNSHIP — Students entered 164 projects into competition in Fairland High School’s science fair on Friday.

The fair, coordinated by science teachers Tim Hayes and Ron King, has taken place annually at the school since 1992.

King said students from ninth, tenth and twelfth grades participated in the event, which featured individual projects.

“I think there’s a strong correlation between the science fair, mentoring and success in college,” King said.

“Metal cancer,” by twelfth grader Winter Knipp, examined how well various substances would protect metal from rust.

Knipp said she was inspired to do the project after seeing rust on the bridge over the Ohio River between Proctorville, as well as learning about the structural failure in the 1967 Silver Bridge collapse between Point Pleasant and Gallipolis.

She took four steel wool pads and cut them in half and dipped each in substances like a salt water mix, water and vegetable oil, vinegar, furniture polish and car wax, before putting them in water.

Knipp hypothesized that the vegetable oil would work best, but found that the furniture polish prevented rust best.

When asked to speculate why, she figured that although it’s intended for wood, the polish has protective qualities, which could be applied to the metal as well.

Connor Franklin, a ninth grader from Scottown, studied what treatment best prevented parasites in sheep.

He said he lives on on a farm with 20 sheep, and that, for the last two years, they have been battling parasites.

Franklin tested three treatments — a copper pill, Cydectin and Prohibit.

He hypothesized that the copper pill would work best, due to it being the preference of veterinarians.

To measure the effectiveness, he took a fecal and checked eye color through a FAMACH score.

He said that the copper pill worked best.

“It was the most effective,” he said. “They all helped, but copper worked a little more.”

“Dragons in Flight” was entered by ninth grader Anna Holman, of Chesapeake.

Using the processing program ImageJ, she tested the flight abilities of prehistoric pterosaurs against two dragon characters from Pokemon, Smaug and Charizard, and Toothless from “How to Train Your Dragon.”

By calculating the height and weight of the characters, and using the pterosaurs as her base group, she was able to determine how well they could get off the ground and how long they could maintain flight.

Holman said the results matched her hypothesis on how well each would do.

King said the judges were made up of former students and community members. One of them was Kevin Zhu, a 2015 graduate of the school, who is now aspiring to do research at Ohio State University.

He said the school invited him back to serve as a judge for this year’s fair.

“The science fair was always one of my favorite things in school,” he said. “This gives me a chance to give back to the community that gave so much to me.”

Zhu said there was a large number of great projects and noted the variety of topics.

“It’s interesting to get the different perspective between being a student and being a judge,” he said.

Winners at the school fair will go on take part in the district science fair, set for March 19 at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth. The winners of the district fair will go on to compete in the state science fair at Ohio State university in Columbus in May.