Belfry won the "Rural School Award" and a $500 prize at the Billings Science Expo March 23 for "effectively mentoring and educating students to participate in science and strengthening their interest in scientific endeavors"
A week earlier, March 15, all the science students conducted an investigation of their choice and prepared boards and presentations for the local Belfry science fair. The winners were as follows for the elementary (K-6) and high school divisions (7-12).
Science fair project “Flower Power” by third grader Abigail Dines won 3rd place. She wondered if she could change the color of a white flower by adding food coloring to its water. Her results concluded that she could change the color of a flower. Abigail says that, “Science Fair was great and fun to do!”
“Be Careful Don’t Slip” by fourth grader Whitney Herden won 2nd place. She wondered why people put salt on the icy roads and on sidewalks. She wanted to know if different substances would melt ice faster. She tested the substances sugar, salt, baking soda, and flour to see which would help ice melt faster at room temperature. Her results concluded that salt melted ice the fastest, while baking soda melted ice the slowest. Whitney says that, “It was really fun, and I am looking forward to doing this next year!”
The World of Pop Cans” by fourth grader Gwendolyn Jeffcoat won 1st place. She wondered if different size pop cans would need different amounts of liquids placed in them in order for them to balance on their edge. Her results concluded that yes, the smaller the pop can the smaller the amount of liquid it needed to balance. Gwendolyn says that, “I thought science fair was really exciting and I liked talking to the judges about my project.”
For the high school division seventh grader David Prather won 3rd place for his project “Get Your Head Out of the Dirt.” He researched four different soil types; clay, sandy, loamy, peaty and tried growing green beans in each soil to see which would grow the tallest green bean plants. The sandy soil sprouted a green bean plant quickly and it grew very tall. None of the other plants grew. David decided this was because he watered all of the pots when the sandy soil looked dry, and because the other soil types had better water retention those seeds were over watered and molded.
Ninth grader Mariah Kapor’s “Ice Cream Experiment” won 2nd place. Mariah first made a batch of homemade vanilla ice cream then changed the one cup of whole milk to various other liquids that could be advertised promoting extra vitamin C (orange juice), caffeine (monster and coffee) and protein (added protein soy milk) to see if people would like the taste of the “boosted” ice creams better. She discovered that her 15 tasters rated all five ice creams, including the original, about the same on a taste scale of 1-10 and most would rather buy the ice cream with extra benefits than regularly marketed ice cream.
Finally, 1st place for the high school division went to tenth graders Brandon Howlett, Cody Kercheval, and Katelyn Collingwood for their “Ethanol and Gas Experiment.” The students tested how far a lawn mower engine using regular 10% ethanol gasoline could pull a weighted sled, and then added more and more ethanol to the gasoline mixture until it was 90% ethanol and 10% gasoline. They found that although there were no negative effects on the engine using ethanol, it had much less power and couldn’t pull the sled as far before dying out.
The Belfry science fair was a great practice round for Cody Kercheval, Katelyn Collingwood, Brandon Howlett, Mariah Kapor, Garrett Kercheval, Bryce Dines, David Prather, Makayla Dines, Regina Fisher, Whitney Herden, Gwendolyn Jeffcoat, Laney Richey, Abigail Dines, and Kenzie Herden. Mrs. Zitzer and Miss Hronek took these students to Billings on Friday March 22 to compete in the Billings Clinic Science Expo.