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2018 S.C. Region 1 Science Fair

    03.15.18 | Community Science Contagious generosity

    The 2018 South Carolina Region 1 Science Fair winners are pictured in Newton Hobson auditorium. At left is Hank McCullough (front) , senior manager of government and community relations at Piedmont Natural Ga; and Colleen Hydrick (back), plant manager at Shaw Industries. Top right is Staci Johnson, SWU professor and event organizer.

    Nearly 200 elementary, middle, and high school students from six Upstate counties put their scientific problem-solving skills on display at the 2018 South Carolina Region 1 Science Fair at Southern Wesleyan University in Central.

    For the eleventh year, Southern Wesleyan’s Division of Science partnered with area teachers and parents to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, in keeping with its core value of “contagious generosity.”

    The 2018 South Carolina Region 1 Science Fair was presented by Piedmont Natural Gas and Ortec Inc..  Additional financial support was provided by Shaw Industries and ServPro of Pickens County. Judging the competition were volunteers from Southern Wesleyan, as well as from Clemson University, Hill Electric Company, Ortec Inc. and Duke Energy.

    Members of SWU’s Science Club also conducted breakout sessions for participating students, giving demonstrations of various science concepts, which included chemistry, biology and computer science.   

    According to Staci Johnson, Southern Wesleyan University professor and event organizer, this year’s science fair grew significantly from a previous record of 110 students to 194 students this year.

    “We are very excited about the growth in student participation in this year’s fair.  Our desire in hosting the SC Region 1 Science Fair is to reward and encourage problem solving and critical thinking of students.  These skills are essential to prepare the next generation of STEM professionals.”

    The exhibits represented a variety of disciplines ranging from biology to physics to engineering – exploring what affects the ripening of fruit, or even how to make an emergency charger to rescue a dying phone battery.</p>

    Samuel Goodroe, a homeschool student from Seneca, presented his findings after studying the bouncing characteristics of three brands of basketballs inflated equally and dropped from an equal height.

    “It’s a great opportunity and it’s fun to come out and test what you know against other public schoolers to see how you compare,” Goodroe said.

    As Hank McCullough, senior manager of government and community relations at Piedmont Natural Gas, viewed competition exhibits and talked with several of the students about their projects, he came away impressed by the work they put into their research.

    “I’m really inspired by their creativity and ingenuity. They’ve really laid out their hypothesis and they developed a process to test that,” McCullough said. “It’s just amazing to see what young people can do if you give them the opportunity and you encourage them to go in that direction.”

    “I think it’s a great experience for them to meet other students interested in science and STEM science from all over our state, and it’s a great opportunity for them to meet other college students and professors, and for them to practice their presentation skills and to excel in science themselves,” said Laura Land, who brought her fourth- and fifth-graders from Northside Elementary School to the competition.

    During an awards ceremony at the event’s conclusion, Colleen Hydrick, plant manager at Shaw Industries, told science fair participants gathered in Newton Hobson auditorium, “I want to keep encouraging your curiosity. Every one of you that entered were curious about a question that you wanted answered, something you wanted to learn more about. Keep being curious. The science fair has probably taught you how to then think about that and come up with a solution and study it in a logical, scientific method and then make a data-driven decision. I can tell you that in our business, it’s important every day to make data-driven decisions.”

    The top nine middle school projects are being nominated to the Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars) program, which is the nation’s premier science fair competition for students in grades six through eight. Finalists in this program will travel to Washington, D.C. to compete for more than $100,000 worth of prizes.

    Planning is already underway for the 2019 South Carolina Region 1 Science Fair to be held on Friday, March 8, 2019 on the Central campus.  In addition to currently offered awards and recognitions, winners of the High School Division at the 2019 SC Region 1 Science Fair will, for the first time, be eligible to move on to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

    All students in South Carolina Region 1, which includes Abbeville, Anderson, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, and Pickens counties, are invited to participate. Please visit our website (www.swu.edu/sciencefair) or contact Staci Johnson, Director at (864) 644-5256 or to learn more about entering student projects, volunteering at the fair, or lending your financial support to the event.

    The 2018 South Carolina Region 1 Science Fair Winners are listed below:

    Third Grade Division

    Third Place – Maddison Ashley, Sadie Sweat, Yuchen Lin (Melting Madness), Ware Shoals Primary School

    Second Place – Aeryn Piper Petroski, Eleanor Din (Fun Science), Merrywood Elementary

    First Place – Aidan Thompson, Jocelyn Coleman, Jackson Dority (Up, Up, and Away), Ware Shoals Primary School

    Elementary Biochemistry Division

    Third Place – Irelyn Smith, Jasmine Joseph (Pill of Pain), Northside Elementary School

    Second Place – Chole Smith (Poppin’ Like Its Hot), Keowee Elementary School

    First Place – Addie Drennon (Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones), Northside Elementary School

    Elementary Chemistry

    Third Place – Ashlyn Denny (Nailed It!), Keowee Elementary School

    Second Place – Adelie Gillespie (Slime), Keowee Elementary School

    First Place – Noah Odom, Grant Duvall (Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz), Northside Elementary School

    Elementary Engineering

    Third Place – Davis Arnold (Eraser Battle), Six Mile Elementary School

    Second Place – Celia Gully (A Hard Finish), Keowee Elementary School

    First Place – Sophia Ponton (Flying High), Keowee Elementary School

    Elementary Health & Microbiology

    Third Place – Emma VanWormer (Tooth Decay), Keowee Elementary School

    Second Place – Jadon Tapper (Multitasking: Brain Drain or Gain?), Six Mile Elementary School

    First Place – Keyla Zhao (Can You Hear Me?), Clemson Elementary School

    Elementary Physical Science

    Third Place – J.P. Dolfis (The Effect of Vehicle Weight on Stopping Distance), Northside Elementary School

    Second Place – Noa Brinkman (Fly to the Sky), Clemson Elementary School

    First Place – Ethan Cook (How Does Adding Weight to a Drone Affect Its Flight Time?), Clemson Elementary School

    Elementary Plant & Animal Sciences

    Third Place – Nathalie Blouin (Factors That Influence the Ripening Speed of a Banana), Clemson Elementary School

    Second Place – Kylie Willis (Wi-Fi Worries: How Does Radiation Affect Plant Growth?), Mt. Lebanon Elementary School

    First Place – Chelsea Burkhart (Light, Color, and Plant Growth), Keowee Elementary School

    Middle School Behavioral & Social Sciences

    Third Place – Johanna Austin (Stroop Effect Test), Classical Conversations

    Second Place – Aliya Bowden (Pick a Plate), Bowden Homeschool

    First Place – Carter Berry (Reading the Rainbow), Berry Academy

    Middle School Biological Sciences

    Third Place – Olivia Ballinger, Taylor Hardin (Blood Clotting with Calcium), Laurens Middle School

    Second Place – Kya Vaughn (Inspiration through Fermentation), Gray Court Middle School

    First Place – Madison Dinkins (Soap or Sanitizer), Classical Conversations

    Middle School Chemistry

    Third Place – Emily Owens (Bubbly Bath Bomb Bonanza), Gray Court Middle School

    Second Place – Lillian Green (Release the Yeast), Green Classical Academy

    First Place – Reshma Tegen (Preservatives in Bread), Hope Haven Academy

    Middle School Engineering: Materials and Bioengineering

    Third Place – Domenica Strathern (Translation), St. Joseph’s Catholic School

    Second Place – Remi Witt (Christmas Water System), St. Joseph’s Catholic School

    First Place – Kaylee Wimpey (Prevent Tragic Deaths), Wimpey Homeschool

    Middle School Engineering: Mechanical & Electrical

    Third Place – Alex Fiorentino (Emergency Charger), St. Joseph’s Catholic School

    Second Place – Josh Vervaet (Precision Under Pressure), Vervaet Classical Academy

    First Place – Colson Boutchia (Battle of Batteries), Classical Conversations

    Middle School Mathematical Science

    First Place – Nate Austin (God’s Design in Nature), Classical Conversations

    Middle School Medicine & Health

    Third Place – Brianna Burrafato (How Quick is Quick?), Sanders Middle School

    Second Place – Matthew Kaiser (Perilous Projectiles and Eye Injury), Kaiser Academy

    First Place – Tyler Crownover (The Soggy Bottom Boys), R.C. Edwards Middle School

    Middle School Microbiology

    Third Place – James Schvaneveldt (Bathroom Sanitation), Schvaneveldt Homeschool

    Second Place – Sara Bedingfield (Cleaning Your Counters), Veritas Academy

    First Place – Shwetha Rajmohan (Coliform Bacteria in Water), Sterling School

    Seventh Grade Physical Science

    Third Place – Micah Hawthorne (Which “Wood” Burns the Quickest), Hawthorne Homeschool

    Second Place – Samuel Goodroe (Does Brand Matter?), Enchanted Hills Academy

    First Place – Liam Chandler (Why Do the Geese Rock the Flying V?), R.C. Edwards Middle School

    Eighth Grade Physical Science

    Third Place – Kayla Covington (Dollars & Degrees), Covington Homeschool

    Second Place – Micah Cash (Fastest Way to Cool a Soda), Classical Conversations

    First Place – Evan Prince (Dirt Cheap Energy), Deerfield Academy

    Middle School Plant and Animal Sciences

    Third Place – Jack Osborne (Eighteen Mile Creek & Lake Hartwell pH Levels), R.C. Edwards Middle School

    Second Place – Addison Smith (Ripe Fruit – A Sensory Delight), Smith Homeschool

    First Place – Danielle Brooks (The Insulation Value of Feathers), Brooks Homeschool High School

    Second Place – Zoe Willis (The Invisible Pollution Issue: How do common synthetic micro-pollutants affect Daphnia magna?) – Pendleton High School

    First Place – Vignesh Rajmohan (The Effectiveness of the Use of Moringa Oleifera Seeds in the Removal of Metal Based Contaminants from Contaminated Water), J.L. Mann High School

    Junior Water Award (presented by the Water Environment Association of South Carolina (WEASC)) – Geraldine Darnault (How Does Soil Affect the pH of Water), R.C. Edwards Middle School

    Senior Water Award (presented by the Water Environment Association of South Carolina (WEASC)) – Zoe Willis (The Invisible Pollution Issue: How do common synthetic micro-pollutants affect Daphnia magna?), Pendleton High School

    Stockholm Junior Water Award Nominee (presented by the Water Environment Association of South Carolina (WEASC)) – Vignesh Rajmohan (The Effectiveness of the Use of Moringa Oleifera Seeds in the Removal of Metal Based Contaminants from Contaminated Water), J.L. Mann High School

    Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused, faith-filled community that offers inventive learning experiences. The university endeavors to prepare its students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ. At the same time, it’s Southern Wesleyan’s desire to practice contagious generosity within the surrounding community. For details about degree programs, go online to swu.edu.

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