Scientifically speaking at Belhaven (SLIDESHOW)

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Thomas Corson and Andrew Weiss conduct an experiment to see which wind up gives a pitcher more speed Thomas Corson and Andrew Weiss conduct an experiment to see which wind up gives a pitcher more speed

LINWOOD—The Ralph Schiavo Cafetorium at the Belhaven Middle School was science central Thursday, Feb. 7 as seventh and eighth grade students participated in the 14th annual science fair. The students set up their projects and the judges armed with a clip board had many questions for the young scientists as they set about to see which students followed scientific method from their hypothesis through their conclusion. 

The science fair is optional for seventh and eighth grade students who could opt to work as a team or go solo. The categories are life science, consumer science, physics, earth science, food science, sports, behavioral science and medicine/health sciences.

The students could come up with their own idea for a project or check out one of the many science fair idea books or websites. Eighth grader Finn McCabe did just that. “I looked through a book for science fair ideas and liked the one that tested for the most efficient energy necessary to move a model car,” said McCabe. “I tested solar, wind, spring and battery power.” He concluded that while the spring went much farther, the solar was the most efficient and practical.

Becky Cino and Kelly Glenn wanted to know if that jolt of morning java really does have an effect. So they came up with a way to measure the effects of coffee on memory and pulse. Their hypothesis is that coffee will affect the consumers pulse and performance.
The girls conducted their study at a basketball game where they set up a table and took the pulse of more than 20 subjects and they were each asked to type 10 words on a lap top. The subjects then drank ¾ cup of coffee and came back 15 minutes later and had their pulse checked and typed the same list of 10 words.

According to Glenn, the subjects increased their speed after drinking the coffee at typing but accuracy decreased and their pulse increased as well.  

Gwen Resch heard it from her dentist that drinking too much soda will rot your teeth so she decided to put that statement to the test. She used a steak bone, because her dentist, Dr. Kiang, said it is the most like a tooth to test the reaction of soda on teeth. She tested a piece of bone in each of six sodas by weighing it after 7 days over a period of one month. Her conclusion, well, lets just say next time you want a soda, pass on the cola and pick up  a Sprite; your teeth will thank you.

Sebastian Chang, 12, had quite an audience in front of his display board. He was testing which robotic hand would be best to pick up radioactive material. He had prototypes of three different hands all made with pieces of wood, rubber bands, hinges with a rubber glove slipped over. Using strings made from dental floss and small rings slipped over his fingers somewhat like a kite he was able to demonstrate how a four-jointed or hinged hand was best suited for picking up a glass vial.

Chang said he really likes comic books and graphic novels and that fascination with science fiction was something that he could apply to his science project. Chang’s project took first place in the physics category.

Winners at Belhaven will have the opportunity to show their projects once again, this time at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey at the Jersey Shore Science Fair on March 16.

Photos by Suzanne Marino

The Belhaven Middle School winning science projects are:
Life Science:
1st - Brooke Mullin - "Down the Drain or in the Garden"
2nd - Aakash Gupta - "Composting"
3rd - Maddie Disadori - "Types of Soil for Best Plant Growth"
Consumer Science:
1st - Gwen Resch - "What Soda Rots Teeth the Fastest?"
2nd -Joey and Teddy Rundall -"What Type of Bag Keeps Strawberries Fresh the Longest?"
1st - Josh Krachman and John Mairone - "Tampering with Tablets and Temperatures"
2nd - Chris Rha - "Evaporation of Different Liquids"
3rd - Ashley Hennessey - "Evaporation Relative to ph"
 Behavioral / Social Sciences:
1st - Becca Cino and Kelly Glenn - "Coffee Effects"
1st - Sebastian Chang - "Robotic Hands"
2nd - Katie Hazaveh - "How Volleyball Helps You Understand Newton's 2nd Law of Motion"
3rd - Finn McCabe - "Energy Source and Power"
Honorable mention - Eric Pushman and Larry Strenger - "Which insulator Works Best?"
1st - Tommy Corson and Andrew Weiss - "Pitch vs. Speed"
2nd - Dylan Hasset and Bryce Zelig - "Best Brand Hockey Stick"
 Food Science/ Culinary:
1st - Michele Liang and Emily Thompson - "Oil and Substitutes for Baking"
2nd - Rachel Thorton and Eve Tjourmakaris - "Flour Power"
3rd - Alyssa Aldridge and Meena Mandalapu - "Speed and Time for Batter"
Honorable Mention - Julia Perrone - "No Gluten, No Problem"

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