Local Students Fare Well at Science Event
Students from area schools participated in the 26th annual Region IV Science Fair at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke on Feb. 24.
Two hundred fifteen students showcased their projects in the Jones Athletic Center. The students, ranging from elementary to high school, presented science experiments in the categories of biology, physical science, earth science, technology and a special team category.
Mary Kathryn Anderson of West Bladen High School was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for the overall winner award, the Biotech Award and first place in the senior biology division for her project, "Ecosystem Plants, Dissolved Oxygen and Bioremediation."
Anderson's project consisted of taking five different ecosystem plants and placing them in pond water over several weeks, testing for fluctuations in dissolved oxygen.
Anderson, who won second place last year, said that she decided to do the project because she "knew that dissolved oxygen was important to the plants."
Eight-year-old Walter Jackson of South Scotland Elementary School said he was not nervous during the project interview. Jackson showed off his frog, which he dissected for his project, "Like Frog, Like Human." Jackson said he wanted to be a heart specialist, and he chose his project because he wanted to see if the organs of humans and frogs were similar.
Ann Kirkland, an eighth-grader from West Pine Middle School, did a project on groundwater flow. She did this experiment to determine how fast contaminants in the groundwater moved.
"People and society don't really worry about it," Kirkland said. Kirkland said she believes that fresh ground water is quickly running out, and it will soon be difficult to find fresh water.
Dr. Jose D'Arruda, who has coordinated all 26 Region IV Science Fairs, said the exhibits were judged on three main aspects: the ability of the student to identify the project, presentation and interview.
Dr. Len Holmes, a UNCP chemistry professor, has been a judge for the past 17 years.
"The quality is good," Holmes said. "But we don't have as many entries as we have had in the past."
D'Arruda said that the number of participants decreased in the past, but it is steadily rising again. Last year, 200 students participated in the fair, compared to 215 this year.
The fair began at 7:30 a.m. and lasted until the award ceremony at 3 p.m. The top two winners of the junior and senior divisions, and the top eight in the elementary division go on to the state competition.
Local winners included:
- Senior Biology -- Alison Boone, North Moore High School, second place; Emily Anne Leonard, Union Pines High School, fourth place.
- Senior Physical Science -- Levi Morris, North Moore High School, first place.
- Junior Biology -- Paula Gordon, West Pine Middle School, third place.
- Junior Physical Science -- Marcus Thompson, West Middle School, fourth place.
- Junior Earth Science -- Ryan Thomas, West Middle School, third place.
- Elementary -- David Boone, Academy Heights, second place.
- Elementary Honorable Mention -- Grace Ann Longfellow and Zachary Smith, Academy Heights Elementary.
n Navy Awards -- Emily Anne Leonard, Union Pines High School, senior.
- McDonald's Scholarship Award -- Emily Anne Leonard, Union Pines High School.
n Lumbee River Electric Award -- Levi Morris, North Moore High School.
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