Science Fair entertains

William Thompson

Over 270 Tucumcari public school students began setting up their science fair projects at the Tucumcari Convention Center, Monday.

Small groups of students wandered from display to display, asking other students about their projects. Many students were more than willing to talk about their own projects. Seventh graders Jessica Rey and Kadi Powers told how they harnessed the power of a peanut to heat a can of water. Powers said she and Rey had heard from a friend that a peanut can burn for several minutes.

“I thought that it would be a good idea for our project to show how a peanut can be a source of fuel, “ said Powers. “The oil inside the peanut acts as a fuel.”

Rey and Powers stuck a needle through a peanut and set it inside an open coffee can. Rey said they lit the peanut on fire and held a small can of room temperature water over the peanut. Rey said the peanut burned for over two and a half minutes.

“We found that the water was heated up to 136 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Michael Fazekas, an eighth grader, found that his mother’s intuition had been right on track. His mother had told him one day that the Kid Rock music he was listening too was enough to raise a person’s blood pressure. Fazekas got the idea to test his mother’s assumption. He used a blood pressure test kit to test people’s blood pressure as they listened to Kid Rock music.

“My Kid Rock music made people’s heart rate go up and it increased their blood pressure, “said Fazekas. “Celtic music lowered a person’s blood pressure.”
Fazekas said he will continue to listen to Kid Rock.

“It’s only bad for you if you have high blood pressure already.”

Megan McKinney, a fourth grader, got her project idea by accident. She said that one day she dropped a piece of candy called an “Atomic Fireball” into a bottle of water. Several hours later she noticed that the candy was dissolving in the water.

“I then wondered what kind of liquid would make the fireball dissolve the fastest, “ said McKinney. “I found that bleach and vinegar dissolved the candy the fastest. The reason why is that bleach and vinegar both have a lot of acid in them.”
Suzi McKinney, a Tucumcari Middle School science teacher said that judges will determine the top five per cent of projects from each grade, 4-12. The top five per cent will go on to compete in regional competition.