ST. PARIS – Which serves as a better battery – a lemon or a potato? Which household cleaner works best? Which beverage does more damage to your teeth?
These were just some of the questions Graham Elementary fifth graders sought to answer as part of their coursework.
Students displayed their knowledge at the school’s Science Fair on Thursday. There were 150 projects about a variety of topics – many of them occurring to students after doing some kind of routine daily activity or housework.
Student Brooke Dunn said she loves baking, so her project came from that. Brooke looked into the effect baking powder has on cupcakes and found that without it they won’t rise.
“It’s a lot of fun because I love baking, and now I get to eat them,” she said.
She fended off other students who wanted to sample her display cupcakes.
Addison McAuley sought to find out more about respiration rates of fish and humans – as in, which one is higher. The respiration rate is the number of breaths taken in a minute.
Addison said she got her idea from her mother’s work as a physical therapist. She had a lot of books on respiration rates for humans.
“I thought fish would have a higher rate, because they have more work to do” to process oxygen in water, she said. “But actually, they were pretty close.”
Addison said she enjoyed the project and her class in general, though she tends to like English more than her other classes.
Gus Ward looked into whether Mr. Clean or bleach is the better household cleaner. He said he got the idea when he was cleaning the bathroom as part of his normal chores.
To determine the better cleaner, Gus looked at the effect of the cleaners using agar, which can be used in microbiological work. Agar isn’t usually available at the corner store, so Gus’s family ordered it online for the experiment.
He determined bleach to be the better cleaner based on the effect of both cleaners on bacteria and germs.
Student Tucker Nave investigated which detergent cleans clothing better – Cheer Ultra Clean, Clorox 2 or Tide Ultra. He tested each on stains on white washcloths, finding Tide Ultra cleans the best.
Tucker said he likes science more than he used to, thanks to his teacher, Sarah Lonsinger.
“I didn’t like it until she taught it,” he said.
And does he do the laundry at home following his investigation?
“Yeah,” he said, resignedly.