Annual science fair held at school

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

Future doctors and scientists at Noonan Elementary School flexed their mental muscles on Tuesday during the annual Science Fair.

Students from every grade level participated in the event. The leading projects will go on to the Alice ISD Science Fair next semester.

The first-grade projects showcased some amazing displays, which used everyday items, such as chicken bones and combs, to tell us more about the world around us.

The majority of consumers see mold on food products and say "eeewww," and throw the item away. Where most may say "yuck," Anibal Perez saw opportunity. His project, "White vs. Wheat" asked the question, which grows mold faster.

"Wheat bread won," Anibal said. "It grew mold a lot faster."

By surveying the evidence on his chart and in pictures, it is clear that after six days, there was significant mold growth on the wheat bread, while the white bread appeared normal.

The differences became more pronounced as the days wore on, with wheat bread taking an decidedly ugly turn after two weeks of mold growth.

John Zamora focused his project on the charged particles involved in "Static Electricity."

A normal comb has no effect on a small stream of water coming from a faucet, but add a little charge to the comb by combing your hair or rubbing something against it, and the charged particles actually cause the small stream to pull away from the comb.

Another experiment involved a Cheerio hanging from a string, which John was able to attract to the comb or pull away from it, using static electricity.

"Charges that are the same separate," John said. "When the charges are different, one positive and one negative, they stick together."

In his final experiment, John took a wool cap on his baby sisterís head and rubbed it around her hair. When the cap came off, numerous strands of hair floated in the air around her head because of static electricity. No baby sisters were harmed in the experiment, John said.

Luis Cadenaís bone project hypothesized that water and vinegar would have the same effect on chicken bones. This was incorrect, he discovered through his experiments.

Chicken bones were left in two separate containers, one containing water, the other vinegar. After 24 hours, the chicken bones in vinegar turned brown and were bendable. The bones in the water were still white and just as rigid as they were in the beginning.

"The acid in the vinegar takes the calcium out of the bones. Itís the calcium that makes bones strong," Luis said.