Staff photo by Cole Dittmer
Nicole Dickerson, from left, Hunter Rahe, Perry Morgan and Carly Farmer won the top prizes at the Wrightsville Beach School science fair and will move on to county competition on Thursday, Jan. 24.
On Thursday, Jan. 17, eight Wrightsville Beach School students stood in front of five science fair projects answering questions about the scientific process from three judges.
Third-grader Nicole Dickerson was the only participant who had previously competed in the science fair.
She said last year she found out the carnation flower lasts the longest.
This time around, she changed her question to, “What is the best way to keep cut flowers fresh?”
The project won first place.
Dickerson said she chose the topic because she likes roses. She tested honey, vinegar, sugar, and flower food along with 7UP, which was the winning ingredient.
It took her eight days to complete the project with the help of her parents and she said she was surprised by the results.
Fourth-grader Hunter Rahe came in second place for his discovery of fried chicken as the best bait to catch mud minnows. He said he was also surprised that the best bait was not squid, as he had hypothesized.
“I like fishing,” Rahe said as the reason he chose the project. The hardest part, he said, was typing up all of the information.
Carly Farmer and Perry Morgan won third place after figuring out which whitening toothpastes really work by testing four brands on a dark blue T-shirt. They said they were a little nervous when the judges came up to their project.
The four winners will all compete at the New Hanover County Science Fair on Thursday, Jan. 24.
“We just want to see the different projects,” Morgan said about the county fair.
Janice Williams, fifth grade math and science teacher, said changes may be made to the WBS science fair next year to make more students eligible to compete instead of only third through fifth graders.
She thanked the students and parents for the time they invested in the science fair before handing out awards to all of the participants.
“We’re going to try to really ramp it up next year,” Williams said.
Kim Bierstedt, science lead teacher in the instructional services department of New Hanover County Schools, was one of the three judges.
“There was a lot of debate,” she said. “We looked at the science behind it, the creativity of the project, the question and answering that the students did … and how well they knew what they had done.”
Bierstedt said there was a mix of traditional projects, new projects and spinoffs of traditional projects.
“Hunter, his is very applicable to living at the beach,” Bierstedt said. “We want to encourage more students to participate next year. Science can be fun.”