Nearly 500 Young Scientists to Participate at 2018 Riverside County Science and Engineering Fair

Elementary girl stands near her Science Fair project "Himalayan Hero"

Riverside County students will be presenting their science project findings at the Riverside County Science and Engineering Fair on Monday, March 19, 2018.

RIVERSIDE – Freezing tennis balls, improving on the Mars Rover Curiosity design, analyzing antibiotics in manure, and hypothesizing about the best school start time to maximize test scores, are just a few of the 415 projects that will be presented for judging at the Riverside County Science and Engineering Fair at the Riverside Convention Center (3637 5th St, Riverside, CA 92501) on Monday, March 19, 2018.

Nearly 500 students from public, charter, and private schools in 36 districts will present their findings in 22 categories ranging from Biomedical Engineering and Animal Sciences to Robotics and Intelligent Machines. Public viewing will be available on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday at 6 p.m., where gold, silver, and bronze medals will be presented. Community awards will also be announced during the awards ceremony.

Within each of the 22 subject matter categories, students will compete in the Grade 4/5 division, Junior division (grades 6-8), and Senior division (high school). Winners in the Junior and Senior division will advance to the California State Science Fair to be held April 23-24, 2018, at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, California. One sweepstakes award will be presented in each division. Three Senior division students will advance to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) to be held May 13-18, 2018, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

A brief selection of entries for 2018 include:

Sledding for Distance
Category: Materials Science
Quotable Quote: “I love playing in the snow and especially sledding. I wanted to figure out how to get my sled to go the furthest distance.”
Project Summary: Tested a regular sled, one coated with WD-40, and with snow wax, to see which gave the longest ride.
Student: Cameron Kennedy
Grade: 4
School: Anna Hause Elementary
District: Beaumont USD

A Comic’s Best Friend
Category: Materials Science
Quotable Quote: “Ever want to read in bed but your mom, dad, or sibling want you to turn off the lights?
Project Summary:  Using Legos, clips, a spring, a hat, and hot glue, the invention is a device that holds a comic book that makes it easy to read in a dark room without disturbing others.
Student: Emerson Cole
Grade: 4
School: North Ridge Elementary
District: Moreno Valley USD

Temperature and Tennis Balls
Category: Physics & Astronomy
Quotable Quote: “I play tennis and knowing that temperature affects how the ball will bounce will give me an advantage when I am playing the game.”
Project Summary: Tested the effect of temperature on the bounce of new tennis balls by placing them in the freezer, the oven, and other climes.
Student: Matthew Allgaier
Grade: 4
School: McAuliffe Elementary
District: Alvord USD

Who Needs the Directions?
Category: Behavioral & Social Sciences
Quotable Quote: “Popular belief says that girls ask for directions and boys try to act macho and won’t ask for directions. We have designed a project to see if this belief is true.
Project Summary: Student purchased four Lego hedgehog sets and timed how long it took boys and girls to construct each hedgehog while taking note of who looked at directions and who didn’t.
Student: Brady Cox
Grade: 5
School: Todd Academy
District: Corona-Norco USD

Can You Cut an Onion Without Crying?
Category: Behavioral & Social Sciences
Quotable Quote: “My hypothesis is there are certain techniques that will slow down the chemical process in the onion to lessen or prevent tears.”
Project Summary: Goal was to avoid tears when cutting an onion by experimenting with sharp and dull knives, cutting the onion while submerged in water, wearing goggles, chilling the onion, incorporating vinegar, using an extraction fan, and other variables.
Student: Keiran Martinez
Grade: 5
School: Bautista Creek Elementary School
District: Hemet USD

Machine Cup of Chocolate Milk
Category:  Engineering Mechanics
Quotable Quote: “This is a complex contraption doing a very simple task.”
Project Summary:  A Rube Goldberg Machine that incorporates a peg board, tubes, funnels, mouse traps, and more to attempt to pour and mix milk with chocolate milk powder in a cup.
Student: Brooklyn Napier
Grade: 5
School: Bautista Creek Elementary School
District: Hemet USD

Mission to Mars: What Kind of 3D Printed Tire Tread Would Work Best on Mars?
Category: Engineering Mechanics
Quotable Quote: “I designed and tested my own Mars Rover tires versus the tires on the Curiosity Mars Rovers designed by NASA/JPL and found that my tread designs were more efficient.”
Project Summary: Using software, a 3D printer, and a remote-control rover to design three different prototype rover tires and tested each one on a simulated Mars terrain course.
Student: Cameron Conner
Grade: 5
School: Three Rings Ranch Elementary
District: Beaumont USD

How to Beat with the Beat
Category: Behavioral & Social Sciences
Quotable Quote: “According to the data collected during this experiment, the middle school students actually ran the mile 9.89% faster while listening to my fast-tempo playlist.”
Project Summary: Student asked P.E. teacher to collect students’ mile times on three separate days while different-tempo music played on the loudspeaker to determine if it affected running speed.
Student: Meredith Holmes
Grade: 8
School: Elsinore Middle School
District: Lake Elsinore USD

Ocimum Tenuiflorum: Phyto-Medicine Extraordinaire
Category: Biochemistry
Quotable Quote: “When you are sick, you look for medicines or soups and other remedies, but have you ever thought that a plant could cure you?”
Project Summary: Tested a plant that is native to the Indian Subcontinent to determine if it could possibly be used in modern medicine to decrease the growth of bacteria.
Student: Dimple Garvadapuri
Grade: 8
School: Letha Raney Intermediate
District: Corona-Norco USD

How Does Storm Water Runoff Affect the Quality of the Santa Ana River?
Category: Earth & Environmental Sciences
Quotable Quote: “We learned that the Santa Ana River is very complex and there are many factors that contribute to the water quality including dams and water treatment facilities.”
Project Summary: Tested the Santa Ana River at three locations before and after a rain storm to see the effect on the water in the river.
Students: Isabel and Adam Yrungaray
Grade: 6
School: George Washington Elementary
District: Riverside USD

Which Antibiotics in Cow Manure Will Allow a Pepper Plant to Grow Taller?
Category: Plant Sciences
Quotable Quote: “Antibiotics in the cows’ manure does really affect the plants and its growth. The antibiotics that were the least harmful to cows, were the ones that worked the best on the plants.”
Project Summary: Manure samples were collected from four different farms with different antibiotics and different pepper plants used to measure growth of the plants over time.
Student: Samer Zidan
Grade: 7
School: Riverside STEM Academy
District: Riverside USD

School Starts Too Early!
Category: Behavioral & Social Sciences
Quotable Quote: “This project was conducted after much talk about how our schools start too early.”
Project Summary: Comparing results of standardized test scores and the start time of their school days, this project sought to find the best start time for schools that are seeking to optimize test scores.
Student: Nathan Everhart
Grade: 11
School: Patriot High School
District: Jurupa USD

Enhanced Alzheimer’s Treatment via External Gamma Wave Stimulation: Noninvasive Treatment to Reduce Beta-Amyloid Plaque
Category: Biomedical Engineering
Quotable Quote: “Alzheimer’s Disease affects more than 1 million people in the United States and kills more than 100,000 each year. So far, no effective treatment has been discovered.”
Project Summary: Students attempting to cure Alzheimer’s disease by using external stimuli to increase gamma waves in the brain as measured by a home-made EEG machine.
Students: Krystal Horton and Tanner Packham
Grade: 11
School: Western Center Academy
District: Hemet USD

Creating a Sustainable Bio-Engine Utilizing Quantum Dots to Generate Power for Biomedical Implants Using Temperature Gradients in the Body
Quotable Quote: “If the quantum dots are placed in a proper array and the distances between them provide maximum efficiency, and the heat engine effectively converts that heat into energy in a subcutaneous environment, then, it is possible to create a sustainable bio-engine utilizing quantum dots to generate power for biomedical implant using temperature gradients in the body.”
Project Summary: Is there a way for patients affected by biomedical implants to not need to periodically undergo surgery for battery replacements, thereby saving time and money.
Student: Janaki Patel
Grade: 12
School: Centennial High School
District: Corona-Norco USD