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LCPS sending 20 entries to regional science fair

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Allison Manning wants to be a dentist when she grows up, so she’s interested in teeth, particularly in the things that make healthy teeth unhealthy. She identified one of the culprits with the experiment she entered in the Lenoir County Science Fair on Thursday.

“I got three teeth from the dentist office my aunt works at,” Allison said in explaining her experiment after the science fair’s awards ceremony Thursday night. “I soaked them in three difference liquids – vinegar, Mountain Dew and water. I recorded the data for seven days and on the seventh day the one that was soaked in vinegar was the worst.”

In the same quantity, Allison surmised, acidic liquids cause more harm to human teeth than sugary liquids – bad news for coffee drinkers and a little reprieve for consumers of soda. It’s information the Contentnea-Savannah K-8 student can store for future use – “I want to take care of other people’s teeth,” she said – but can bask in now that it won her a ribbon in the county science fair and a ticket to the regional science fair along with 24 other LCPS students.

The regional representatives from elementary and middle schools and county winners in the four categories in each of those two divisions were announced Thursday evening after judges had spent the day looking over 88 entries and quizzing the 100 young scientists who devised the experiments.

“The quality of the entries was very good. You could see the effort that went into them,” Mary Riddick of Contentnea-Savannah K-8 said before recognizing winners. She and fellow CSS teacher Nichole Hathaway coordinated the event, which drew about 60 percent more entries than last year.

Joining Allison as LCPS’s elementary division representatives to the regional science fair in Wilmington next month are Jaiden Champion and Blayden Curry of Pink Hill Elementary; Mason Jones, Riley Hoover, Jaelyn Burkett and Maddox Jenkins of Southwood Elementary; Kayln Brock, Leanna Kivette and Eli Kearney of Banks Elementary and Sean Olesen of Northwest Elementary.

Middle school students moving on to regional competition are Emma Dawson, Tyler Sears and Riley Craft of Frink Middle; Jackson Heath and Jared Carlyle of Contentnea-Savannah; and Lydia Goff, Parker White, Olivia Howell, Macy Sanderson, Natalie Dail, David Phillippe, Sydney Whitchard, Allison Rosborough and Dawson Barnett of Woodington Middle.

For Natalie Dail, a seventh grader who’s competed in the annual science fair since third grade, this is her second selection as a regional representative but will be her first trip. Last year, a scheduling conflict prevented her from attending. She’s planning to go this year, she said, taking an entry that compares the potential of different fabric types to take dye.

“I was testing if the fabric type made a difference in the reaction process in fiber-reactive dye. I was seeing if natural fabrics dyed better than synthetic fabrics,” she said.

Her hypothesis was that natural fabrics would “because they would take in the molecules a lot better than synthetics would.” She was right. “Because we added soda ash solution, it made the molecules in the natural fibers bond more with the dye than the synthetics did.”

Her entry finished second in the middle school chemical science category, a category swept by Woodington students. County winners in both the elementary and middle school divisions are chosen in four categories – biological science, chemical science, physical science and technology/engineering – but regional representatives are chosen on the basis of their entry’s score, regardless of division.

In some cases, students worked as a two-person team on entries and county-level judging sometimes resulted in a tie for one of the three top places.

County winners in the elementary division by category are:

Biological science: Nyzir Holmes, Southeast, first place; Abigail Hull, Bank, second place; and Alexis Heath, Southwood, third place.

Chemical science: Mason Jones, Southwood, first place; Allison Manning, Contentnea-Savannah, second place; Jaelyn Burkett, Southwood, second place; and Kayln Brock and Leanna Kivette, Banks, third place.

Physical science: Riley Hoover, Southwood, first place; Austin Williams, Banks, second place; and Susanna Swindell, Banks, third place.

Technology/engineering: Eli Kearney, Banks, first place; and Vanessa Garner, Banks, second place.

County winners in the middle school division by category are:

Biological science: Mary Lynn Dawson and Lyndsay Williams, Woodington, first place; Paige Lancaster, Woodington, second place; and Sara Jones, Contentnea-Savannah, third place.

Chemical science: David Phillippe, Woodington, first place; Lydia Goff and Parker White, Woodington, first place; Natalie Dail, Woodington, second place; Sydney Whitchard and Allison Rosborough, Woodington, third place; and Olivia Howell and Macy Sanderson, Woodington, third place.

Physical science: Britney Rouse and Madison Killette, Frink, first place; Nathan Carlyle, Woodington, second place; and Avery and Macy Rouse, Woodington, third place.

Technology/engineering: Riley Craft, Frink, first place; Tyler Sears, Frink, second place; Jenna Steele, Frink, third place; and Kewonnie Hooker and Qua’Mir Grandy, Rochelle, third place.