The Camdenton Middle School Science Research team educators, Amy Larrington and Tim Mulford, are pleased to announce that nine Camdenton Middle School Science Research students competed at the Ozarks Science and Engineering Fair and excelled.

The Camdenton Middle School Science Research team educators, Amy Larrington and Tim Mulford, are pleased to announce that nine Camdenton Middle School Science Research students competed at the Ozarks Science and Engineering Fair (held virtually this year from the Missouri State University campus) between April 28 and May 12.

Despite the ongoing uncertainty with COVID-19, all of the Camdenton Middle School students excelled!

“We are so proud of all our Science Research students and their accomplishments,” state Larrington and Mulford.

 Noah Patton won first place in the Physics category, was the Grand Award winner (Best in Show), and qualified to compete in the Broadcom Masters National Science Fair. Noah won the Department of Defense STEM Leadership award ($100 cash), the Office of Naval Research award, the U.S. Air Force award, and the Schneider Foundation award ($250 cash). Noah noticed that while solar panels are often pushed as being environmentally friendly, solar panels are only about 18% efficient. His project centered around applying his knowledge of the Seebeck effect and changing the material on the cold side of a thermo-electric generator to see if the resulting voltage would be increased, resulting in greater efficiency of the system.

Bell Owens won first place in the Chemistry category, was the Grand Award Alternate winner (second place Best in Show), and qualified to compete in the Broadcom Masters National Science Fair. Bell won the American Chemical Society award ($25 cash), the Schneider Foundation award ($250 cash), the Office of Naval Research award, and the U.S. Air Force award. Bell was concerned that BPA is used as a thermoresistant coating on the paper rolls used for printed receipts, but that there are health concerns with the use of BPA in other applications. In an effort to find a safer alternative, Bell used a computer program to simulate how BPA, urea, and polyurea each interact with human cells and to show that urea and polyurea have much less of an impact on human cells. Her drive to find and collaborate with computer programmers from the east coast was an amazing process to see this year!

Izzy Hamner won first place in the Zoology category, and qualified to compete in the Broadcom Masters National Science Fair. She also won the American Society of Mammalogists award. Izzy wanted to use the strong olfactory sense in deer to help prevent deer-vehicle collisions. She hypothesized that adding a deterring scent to road paint might discourage deer from crossing roads. She infused paint with lavender essential oil, simulated a roadway by painting lines on the asphalt roadway at an abandoned golf course, and collected data about how the deer interacted with the roadway.

Carter Smith won second place in the Medicine and Health Sciences category. He also won the Smith Glynn Callaway Foundation award ($200 cash). Carter is determined to deter his peers from using electronic cigarettes. Carter created a testing apparatus to house several experimental groups of Drosophila melanogaster, which he used as a model organism. He exposed the Drosophila to nicotine salts, then collected and analyzed numerous hours of video data to show how dangerous one of the primary ingredients in electronic cigarette “juice” is.

Delaney Stanfield won second place in the Behavioral Sciences category. Delaney has a passion for astronomy and the various colors of light that can be seen while stargazing. Delaney’s project centered around correcting students’ misconceptions of light and color. Delaney studied various methods of instruction, then worked with a group of elementary students to determine their misconceptions. She implemented different types of lessons, and then tested students to determine what they had learned about light and color.

Kierstin Wright won second place in the Environmental Sciences category. Kierstin noticed that there is a lot of research being done about the effects of microplastics in oceans, but very little research is being done on how microplastics are impacting land-based ecosystems. She also wondered if the prevalent use of disposable contact lenses is having negative impacts on terrestrial organisms. Kierstin exposed earthworms to different amounts of crushed contact lenses over the course of her experiment, then used her data to show that earthworms are negatively impacted by microplastics in their environment.

Paige Schwantes won third place in the Environmental Sciences category. In her research, Paige learned that large-scale oil spills are contained and cleaned with booms filled with human hair. Paige wondered if a similar application would work with small-scale oil spills here at the Lake around marinas, but wondered if there might be a more effective material to fill the booms with. Paige tested the effectiveness of booms filled with either human hair, dog fur, or chicken feathers and measured how quickly and effectively the oil could be removed from water. Paige did an excellent job of developing a small-scale, economically viable, do-it-yourself solution to a local problem!

Cassidy Hannigan earned honorable mention in the Environmental Sciences Category. Cassidy found in her research that the lighting inside show caves can cause algae to grow on the cave walls, and that bleach and hydrogen peroxide are often used to remove the algae. The algae and harsh chemicals used for cleaning both negatively impact delicate cave ecosystems. Cassidy hypothesized that exposing algae to green light inside a cave would disrupt the process of photosynthesis, therefore preventing algae growth, while still allowing visitors to see inside a show cave. Cassidy simulated a cave environment (temperature and humidity) and grew algae on native rock under various colors and intensities of light to collect her data.

Tatumn Weaver earned honorable mention in the Engineering category. Tatumn wondered why concrete is often used as a crash barrier, when it is so unforgiving. She noticed that the front of cars are engineered to crumple upon impact in order to save the lives of people inside a car, and wondered if similar thinking could be used to redesign crash barriers. Tatumn used a digital force sensor to test various materials as potential crash barriers for cars.