by Lisa Tome
Due to their many activities, Mary Cate Carder and Madison Moran weren't sure they'd have time to create an entry for their school science fair.
"As long as we got to do it together, it was okay," said Moran.
Their project, entitled H2 Uh-O, had them testing different types of water - from creeks, streams, and distilled water, and documenting what they found.
Their work earned them a blue ribbon. They tied for first place in the Rising Sun Middle School fair.
Zachary Jackson's project also earned the blue ribbon. His project had to do with coding. "It feels good after all the work I put in," said Jackson.
Teacher Kristina Riska coordinated the science fair at the school. It was the first held at RSMS in recent memory.
Riska transferred in this year and was impressed with the quality of the projects turned in for the voluntary fair. She looked at Jackson's project, which with the H2 Uh-O, will be entered into the county science fair this year. "Zach knows a tremendous amount about his project and I don't even understand it," Riska said with admiration.
The fair projects spanned a broad range of topics.
Nicholas Powers had people play a scary game and monitored to see if music would calm their heart rates. "I worked on this a lot of days after school. I learned that playing with no music is best," said Powers.
Logan Garvin took his project all the way to another planet. Garvin worked to research if plants could grow on Mars. He then made soil to simulate the soil of that planet. "You can grow plants on Mars but only one of my seeds sprouted," said Garvin.
Emily Nguyen worked to find out why not all medications can be ingested rather than people having to be subjected to inoculation. "Some medications can't be digested because enzymes break them down," she said.
The judges for the science fair were Chemical Engineer Cindy Learn who works for the government, and retired RSMS science teacher Kathy Morton.
The two women were impressed with the project. The scores were so close that instead of announcing the winner on Thursday, they put off the decision on Friday so that a thorough double check of the scores could be completed.
"I appreciate this. They put in a good amount of effort," said Learn.
Riska said that since she is new to the school, the science fair was a way to "get her feet wet" in preparation for next year.
"I offered support and anything they needed; a room, equipment, and we provided the display boards. A lot of younger students wanted to do it but got scared at the last minute," said Riska.