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Sanibel School students to be featured at regional fair

By Staff | Dec 30, 2015

The Sanibel School Principal Barbara Von Harten and middle school science teacher Dana Sanner stand with five eighth grade students who were invited to the Thomas Alva Edison Regional Fair in January. PHOTO PROVIDED

Five eighth grade students from The Sanibel School will showcase their science experiments during the 59th annual Thomas Alva Edison Regional Fair at Florida Gulf Coast University Alico Arena.

The fair will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23.

Alayna Aracri and Caitlin Ross’ project, Black Ink vs. Colored Ink, was an experiment of whether or not a colored font would be easier to memorize than words in black.

“It is easier to remember words in color verses black,” Aracri said.

Ross said there is a good amount of research showing how colors are easier to retain after seeping into the brain. She said it is also shown in advertising that people are more prone to remember things when they are bright and colorful.

The girls conducted the experiment by creating a 12-word survey, which were the same words, in color and in black. They then gave the words to their classmates while giving the students 5 minutes to memorize the words.

“I like seeing the results because they were shown in other studies, but it was really cool to see how it actually benefited in color print,” Ross said.

Gabby Miltner conducted an experiment called Rotten or Ripe. She said she wanted to do the project because she always makes smoothies with her mother.

“The produce, we use veggies, like kale, strawberries and bananas, and it would always go out before we could use it, like go bad,” Miltner said. “So I did a project on what product would keep it the freshest the longest.”

She used blue apple, fresh paper and a homemade veggie and fruit soaker.

“Throughout my experiment I found out that fresh paper worked the best because it held one of the three necessary elements in keeping produce fresh which is ethylene gas control,” Miltner said.

The fresh paper is either placed underneath the fruits and vegetables, or over top.

She enjoyed seeing how the produce progressed throughout the duration of her 10-day experiment. Miltner said her fruits and vegetables now last at least five days longer.

“When I researched the different products, the most that came up was blue apple and said it would keep it fresh. I didn’t actually. It was the worst,” she said.

Will Strange conducted an experiment titled Build a Better Burger. He said there was an infomercial while he was watching TV that struck his attention regarding placing a divot on the top of the burger preventing shrinkage while cooking.

Strange decided to test the information by using 3-ounce mini burgers. His project revealed that the divot at the top actually worked. He tested 10 divots, one at a time on the stove, verses 10 without a divot.

“The weight for a divoted burger was actually less than a non-divot burger. The non-divot burger weighed more after cooking, but the diameter and thickness of the burger was greater,” he shared.

Strange enjoyed eating the burgers and plans on using the method for larger ones because he feels there would be a bigger difference using the divot technique.

Brian Hartman’s project, How Does Distance Affect the Accuracy of a Paintball, stemmed from him enjoying the activity.

“I have been paintballing for a number of years now and I’ve always noticed when I go to Dick’s Sporting Goods, or other paintball places that they always have paintballs that are more expensive than others,” he said. “They have some they claim to be tournament grade and others recreational grade, which means one is professional and the other is for target shooting. They are substantially different (in price.)”

The tournament grade paintballs typically have a different coloration with patterns, compared to the recreational grade that is either solid colored or two colored.

Hartman said during a tournament if a paintball hits someone and it bounces off it does not count. To get a person out, the paintball has to break, which is why the softer tournament grade is used.

“I wanted to test the accuracy of each different type of paintballs based on a number of different distances 10 feet from the target, 30 feet and 50 feet,” he said.

For the project, Hartman used a big cardboard TV box for the target and shot three of each paintball at each distance. After he finished the three rounds and distances, he replaced the target with a new one. The paintball gun was placed on a chair, so there was no swaying during the experiment and he shot them all on the same day.

“The result of my project was that I found you don’t need to spend the extra money on a tournament grade paintballs because the recreational grade actually performed better,” Hartman said. “If you are playing for fun you don’t need to spend a ton of money to get good performance and accuracy.”

He said he enjoyed that he had a lot of leftover paintballs and CO2.

Grace Ireland’s project, The Effects of Pesticides on Monarch Larvae, tested whether applying pesticides to a plant before caterpillars fed impacted the life cycle.

Follow Meghan @IslanderMeghan on Twitter.