The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 24, 2013

Fish handlers, plant testers reveal science fair projects

By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News

DANVILLE — DANVILLE — Middle school students entered science fair projects ranging from training a fish to what factors affect plants.

Kimberly Breyfogle chose to see if she could train her Betta fish named Juliet. “I wanted to see if I could train her to do tricks with food,” the 13-year-old eighth grader said. She said she was able to get the fish to swim to her fingers on the side of the tank and to follow her fingers.

“I tried to train her to swim through a hoop. She did. I tried to train her to jump. She did a couple of times but was her least favorite,” Kimberly said of her bluish-purple pet.

Seventh-grader Ethan Benjamin wanted to know if electricity affects plant growth so he put copper rods in soil and connected them to a nine-volt battery. The 12-year-old watered all the pea plants regularly and gave them the same amount of light. He discovered plants affected by electricity were a half-centimeter shorter in the three weeks he grew them.

Elizabeth Henning, 13, tested ph extremes on bean plants. She exposed some plants to strong acid and others to a strong base. She found plants exposed to neutral ph grew the best. The seventh-grader worked with 40 plants.

Genevieve Zola, 14, chose a project on music recognition. She tested people on song recognition when one or two instruments or no instrument were played. She timed them on how quickly they recognized a song. The eighth-grader found the more musical experience people had, the faster they recognized a song.

Eighth-grader Edward George built a cogeneration model which included electromagnetic fields, magnetic spinning and hydroelectric power. “This could be used if a power grid goes down. On a large scale, it potentially can produce more energy than fossil fuels,” he said.

The science fair, involving sixth, seventh and eighth grades, was held Saturday in the Danville Primary School. Angie Storer and Julie Kennedy, of the home and school association, served on the science fair committee with Jen Henning and Tammy Lapchak.

Projects were entered in exhibition or competition categories. More than 20 people served as judges. Representatives of the school community chose honorable mention winners. Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland was featured during judging.

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.