TCR/Matthew Rodenburg
Linsey Meyer and Emma Olson tested how different popcorn flavors popped. They 
determined that kettlecorn popcorn pops the fastest and with the most kernels popped.
TCR/Matthew Rodenburg Linsey Meyer and Emma Olson tested how different popcorn flavors popped. They determined that kettlecorn popcorn pops the fastest and with the most kernels popped.
On Friday, March 10, 59 Rushford-Peterson Middle School students debuted their science projects at the annual science fair.

Parents and community members were invited to attend the fair to see the projects that each student has worked on since January.

The projects ranged in scope and magnitude and each student approached their project differently.

Linsey Meyer and Emma Olson tested how different popcorn flavors popped.

Meyer explained that she had assumed the low sugar, light butter popcorn would pop best, but found that kettlecorn popcorn pops the fastest and with the most kernels popped.

Annika Bakkum-Ekern asked herself, “What freestyle exercise accelerates the heart rate the most?”

She measured the heart rate, in beats per minute, of herself and her family members in four categories: resting heart rate, sit-ups, squats and jumping jacks. Her hypothesis was that sit-ups would raise the heart rate, but after her experiments, she found jumping jacks raised the heart rate the most.

She enjoyed her assignment and project as she “got to do it with my family and friends during a thunderstorm.”

Jackson Dvorak looked at acidity, and how fast certain acids corroded metal – such as the metal found in nails or in a jelly container.

He used unconcentrated orange and lemon juices and also tested Pepsi. He set a nail and jelly container in the acids and measured them after three days, five days and six days.

The unconcentrated juice from an orange proved to be the most corrosive in two out of the three measurements.

“It was pretty interesting to see it start out as nothing. Then with the orange, the nail turned completely black. It was pretty awesome,” said Dvorak.

Isaiah and Arianna Rasmussen looked at the PH level of different drinking water. They gathered water from nine different sources, including city of Rushford and Peterson water as well as bottled water from brand like Voss and Aquafina.

They hypothesized that the expensive Voss brand would be the best but were surprised to find out that the lowest PH level was found in the city of Rushford’s water.

“It interested me to check what types of water are the best to get. We found out the water that we use is not the best,” said Isaiah.

As for purchased water? The Rasmussens suggest going with Voss or Life Water.

Speaking of drinks that could damage your teeth, Kyla Ingram and Jenna Meyer looked at how drinks like coffee, cola and tea damage a person’s teeth. While they thought that coffee may stain them the most; they found that soda is the worst offender.

Out of the 38 projects presented, only three could be named the winners. These three winners are projects from: Olivia Thompson, Jack Hertling and Isabelle Kahoun together with Kaylee Ruberg.

Thompson studied a craze that has gained popularity with youth over the last year – water bottle flipping. She examined how different measurements of water affect how often the water bottle lands on its base.

“Olivia Thompson did a tremendous job explaining how the center of gravity was the main factor in determining the amount of water best used for bottle flipping,” said science teacher Jeremy Tesch.

Hertling examined two types of cleaning cloths to determine which one was better – Norwex or eCloth. He measured how much residual bacteria was left on both a door handle and a toilet handle after the usage of each cloth.

“Jack Hertling’s science fair project was chosen to be a winning project because of his detailed experimental design, unique topic and board appearance,” said science teacher Lisa Boyum.

His hypothesis was confirmed in his tests as Hertling found that Norwex did indeed kill the most bacteria.

Kahoun and Ruberg took a unique approach in testing how much weight a carton of eggs could sustain without breaking the eggs within?

They had up to four people stand on the carton (up to 125 pounds) and found that the eggs inside did not break. They further discovered that having more eggs in a carton allowed the carton to withstand more pounds of pressure.

Tesch noted that this project was much more unique than other projects, and that the students presented the information well.

Overall, the Science Fair was well received. “I received numerous positive comments throughout the fair about the uniqueness of projects and about how well the students did with presenting their poster,” said Boyum, who noted that this is her first Science Fair as last year she was on maternity leave.

“It was definitely exciting to see the projects this year from start to finish. I also really enjoyed seeing the different project ideas and how excited the students were to share their projects.”

According to Boyum, she sees a larger upswing in interest and learning when the students take part in hands-on activities.

“There are several educational benefits because students have the opportunity to develop skills in writing, oral presentation, problem-solving and creative thinking,” said Boyum.

She added, “The Science Fair is a great extension to what we teach in the classroom, and the students seem to really enjoy it in sixth grade. There were even some seventh and eighth graders who decided to complete another project this year as an option.”