‘Do dogs understand English?’ Roland Grise Middle Schoolers search for answers

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“Do Dogs Understand English?” (Courtesy: Will McKibbin)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Can dogs understand English? Does temperature effect the voltage output of a solar panel? Or how about using the science of baking cupcakes to understand genetic engineering?  These were just a sampling of the over 300 amazing science projects the students at Roland Grise Middle school had on display during the 2016 Science Expo.

This year’s expo showcased a variety of traditional science fair projects in the fields of Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Technology and  Engineering, and Earth Science.

Judging the projects was not an easy task, as many friends, community members, and local volunteers read, analyzed, and scored the projects.  They were looking for completeness, creativity, originality, and most importantly proper use of the scientific method.

The eight projects that were selected to move on to compete at the next level are: “Lifespan of a Battery” by Justin Dyson, “Sea Salt” by Sophie Hughes, “Warming Water Warning” by Cole Noberini, “Cookies 101” by Sawyer Kohman, “Yummy in My Tummy…Or Not!” by Uma Volety, “I’m Trying to Breathe Here!” by Nina Noble, Emmi Pinto, and Chole Scatton-Tessier, “Let it Shine” by Spencer Nolan and Jaxon Croom, and “Marsh Attacks! Context-dependent effects of intraspecific trait variation in a marsh ecosystem predator-prey interaction” by Regan Williams.  These students will be representing Roland Grise in the New Hanover County Schools Science and Engineering Fair on January 12th at 4 p.m. at Murray Middle School.

Judging taking place at the RGMS Science Expo. (Courtesy: WIll McKibbin)
Judging taking place at the RGMS Science Expo. (Courtesy: Will McKibbin)

In addition to the traditional science fair projects, students had other options to explore their scientific curiosity.  In the Green Homes Design category, students planned and built a model of an energy efficient home.  They included details such as the type of insulation in the floors and walls, building materials, window design, rain barrels, and native plants in the landscaping.  Winners for this category were Trey Reed, Daniel McArthur-Armeanu, and Angel Lightfoot.

The World Problem Solvers category involved researching a problem impacting our world today and coming up with a plan to solve it.  Topics ranged from global water crises, alternative energy sources, to pollution and recycling best practices.  The top World Problem Solvers were William Skakar, Megan Corrigan, and Krya Schwagerl.

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An automatic dog feeder, one of many amazing projects at this years RGMS Science Expo. (Courtesy: Will McKibbin)

The final, and very popular option for students, was Invention Convention.  Students were tasked with creating some type of device that would solve a real life problem.  Inventions included things such as the “AT-CC: All Terrain Cleat Cane”, a Christmas tree watering system, an automatic dog feeder, and “CAMP: the Car Attachment for Multiple Purposes”.  These inventions really displayed the creativity of a middle schooler with some very surprising practical applications! Winners were Finnian Long, Huske Anderson, and Aiden Flynn.

The 2016 RGMS Science Expo was a huge success and the projects set a high precedent for next year.  Congratulations to all students who submitted a project and good luck to those competing in the county fair!

-Content submitted by Will McKibbin

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