Science on display

Holy Redeemer students put projects on display

Photo by Mike Lamb Southwest Minnesota State University Professor Loren Wiger, center, and one of his students, Madison Lacey, right, listen to sixth-grader Henry Herrick give his science fair project presentation during judging.

MARSHALL — Sixth-grader Braxton Seifert picked up the odd-looking contraption that had a crank on one side and light bulb connected on the other side.

It sat on the palm of one hand and the other hand held the light bulb.

“I went to an antique shop and basically found this on the floor and I was just wondering what this magnet voltage produces,” Braxton said.

He was standing by his science project display inside the Holy Redeemer School Wednesday afternoon. The science projects by sixth-grade students in Sharon Wenker’s class were being judged by Southwest Minnesota State University students.

“So these are your magnets,” Seifert explained. “Big gear, little gear and down here is your armature. And down here is just a coil and then it produces a reaction with the coil and the magnets. And it can turn it into light.”

He discovered that his telephone magneto can produce 75 volts.

He sighed, and then said, “such technology back then.”

Wenker said the science fair is an annual event.

“It’s fourth and sixth grade. We start the projects sometime in November or December as far as thinking of a question. They use the scientific method extensively to be ready for their presentation. Then our top 10 go to regionals in Mankato,” she said.

“I thought they (projects) were awesome,” said Taylor Silva. She was one of the SMSU students that helped with the judging. “You can definitely tell they have really big pride in what they are doing. It’s stuff they are really interested in. So it’s kind of cool to just see them kind of expand and be able to present something like this.”

Another SMSU student, Janawe Rouillard agreed.

“They are passionate about the project they chose,” Rouillard said.

Sixth-grader Ava Holmgren was definitely passionate about her project.

“My mom drinks a lot of coffee. She doesn’t like the stain it leaves on her teeth,” Holmgren said.

So the 11-year-old went to work on her project to see which cleaning agents worked the best to clean and whiten teeth. She soaked egg shells in coffee for 24 hours.

“I used different cleaning agents to test which one is the most successful in removing coffee stains from teeth,” Holmgren said. “My hypothesis was that baking soda and peroxide mixture was going to clean teeth the most.”

She checked out mouthwash and whitening strips as well. But she discovered her hypothesis was correct.

“It was actually really fun. I decorated the board, but it was a little nerve-wracking when it comes to judging,” Holmgren said. “I think I did pretty good. There were a few times words got mixed up. But I’m only human.”

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