By FELICIA KRIEG
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Area students say the Champlain Valley Regional Science Fair increased their understanding of the world around them and boosted their interest in the sciences.
Ricky Murray Jr., a freshman at Northeastern Clinton Central School, took third place in the High School Technology Project category.
“It’s one of the greatest subjects,” he said before the winners were announced at Saturday’s event at SUNY Plattsburgh. “With history, you study the past.
“With science, you look forward to the future.”
He hopes to one day work in paleontology and study extinct species.
Murray was one of more than 70 middle and high-school students who, mostly working in groups of two or three, researched topics and crafted presentations, many demonstrating their findings live to at the Science Fair.
Twenty-eight judges, many professors at SUNY Plattsburgh or Clinton Community College, judged the projects, ranking first, second and third place in each category.
PROCESS OF SCIENCE
The event, sponsored by the Development Corp. and Miner Agricultural Institute, aims to promote inquiry-based scientific and technological investigations.
“We hope that your development of these wonderful projects we’ve seen today has helped you to understand the process of science and technology and how important they are to the future of our society,” Dr. Robert Fuller, co-chair of the fair and director of the Center for Earth and Environmental Science at SUNY Plattsburgh, told participants.
“We really do depend on that, and it’s important that we have people trained in these disciplines.”
It’s Fuller’s hope that many of the participants will pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
Researching a topic and preparing a presentation makes for a fulfilling and interactive learning experience, he said.
“It helps students to develop and satisfy their curiosity.”
The event showcases the work of “students who are motivated to go above a beyond their typical classwork,” said Michele Snyder, co-chair of the Champlain Valley Regional Science Fair and associate professor of science at Clinton Community College.
“It made us more interested in science and the world around us,” said Mickaela Gunnison, a middle school student a Crown Point Central.
She and fellow students Torrie Vradenburg and Kayli Stone showed how air pressure can crush soda cans.
Evan Dyke, a Beekmantown Central student, was happy to be awarded second place in the Middle School Demonstration Projects category for “Waterlock,” which he undertook with Mya LaDieu.
“We put a lot of work into our project,” he said.
The effort was a combination of classwork and research done at home, Dyke said.
LaDieu said the Science Fair is unique in that it enables students to learn about something they’re interested in, since they can choose their own topics.
Dyke and LaDieu’s experiment tested whether chemicals can change from solid to liquid form without being frozen.
Clinton Community College President John Jablonski works in higher education administration, his degree in engineering is relevant to his job, he told Science Fair attendees.
He uses the critical thinking and problem-solving skills he developed while studying science, he said.
“The work that I’ve seen here today ... is an indication to me that you are all developing skills that will serve you your entire life.”
Next year’s Science Fair is set for April 25, 2015.
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High School Technology
First place: Javier Chin-Hsing Yu and Jake Messner (Plattsburgh High School) for "Research Applications of Amateur Near Space Ballooning."
Second place: Shawna Barclay (Northeastern Clinton Central School) for "Aerodynamics."
Third place: Ricky Murray Jr. (NCCS) for "Helicopter Liftoff."
High School Research
First place: Bruno Greselin (Peru Central School) for "A Study on the Effects of Different Cleaning Methods on Eliminating Core Bacteria Growth in Household Sponges."
Second place: Taylor Durocher and Lea Perry (Peru Central) for "An Analysis of Personality Types in Teachers of Foreign Language, Special Education, Math, English, Social Studies and Science Using a Myers-Briggs Influenced Personality Test."
Third place: Camden Brockbank, Shauna Fliss and Jonathan Plessis-Belair (Peru Central) for "Selective Attention Analysis: Video Test Project."
Middle School Demonstration
First place: Alexandra Goldseder (Seton Catholic Central School) for "Conservation of Momentum as displayed by a Magnetic Linear Accelerator and Newton's Cradle."
Second place: Mya LaDieu and Evan Dyke (Beekmantown Central School) for "Waterlock."
Third place: Lia Clemons and Alaina Bazzano (Peru Central School) for "Solar System"
Middle School Technology
First place: Kara Bouyea (Beekmantown Central) for "Transformation of E. coli with Beta-lactamase and V. fischeri Lux Genes."
Second place: Keagan MacKinnon (NCCS) for "How Low Can You Go?"
Third place: Tavin Head (Beekmantown Central) for "Coin Battery."
Middle School Research
First place: Liam Sayward and Grace Sayward (home schooled) for "Effect of Copper on Both Wool and Parasite Load of Icelandic Sheep"
Second place: Megan Frederick and Marissa Parmeter (Beekmantown Central) for "Fantastic Fossilization."
Third place: James Ashley and Jacob Durgan (Beekmantown Central) for "Gauss Rifle Elevation Experiment."