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Norwood Elementary students among those who did well at Regional Science Fair

A total of 21 students from six Stanly County schools competed at the Regional Science Fair at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Feb. 1-2.

Fourth-grade students Mason Conte and McKenzie Church of Norwood Elementary were among those who went to regional.

Conte, 9, worked to find the safest way to salt roads.

“When we salt roads, the salt gets on the roads and it makes it so cars rust and when it rains, plants and animals die,” Conte said.

His control was water and he compared rock salt, pickle juice and rock salt and beet juice and rock salt.

Conte had three numbered cups, each filled with the mixtures he was comparing, and he put them in the freezer and used thermometers to see at what temperature they froze.

Ultimately, the beet juice and rock salt took the longest to freeze and so it was the safest method.

Conte won the SigmaXI Award for ingenuity and creativity and he also was one of 16 winners who will advance to the state STEM fair in Raleigh March 29-30.

“I felt excited for going to the finals and I felt joyful for getting the creative award,” said Conte.

Church, 10, built her own clean energy hydro dam and tested whether a longer or shorter pen stock would be best to control water flow and create electricity.

She built the hydro dam out of wood, and also bought pipes for the pen stocks and bought the turbine.

She found the longer pen stocks worked better because the longer the pen stock, the more electricity was created and the faster the water runs to the turbine.

Church won the Duke Energy Education Award and a $25 Amazon gift card.

“I felt really good and happy that I won the award,” Church said.

Other Stanly students at regional also did well.

Oakboro Choice STEM School students Zoe Smith and Breanna Douglas will also be going to the state STEM fair and Anya Bullock and Ella Shelton were awarded the Mecklenburg Land Use Agency Earth Awareness Award.

Also, Ashlee Miller and Joni King of South Stanly Middle School received two special awards at the Regional Science and Engineering Fair. Their project took first place in the middle school division for demonstrating thorough and creative research while investigating the harmful effects that specific pollutants have on freshwater organisms.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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