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Mill Creek aspiring scientists lauded at state contest

At the state science fair, Jack Bell's project about diet and sports performance earned "Best of Show," corporate awards and "U.S. Surgeon General's Special Science Award." (Contributed / Kim Bell)
At the state science fair, Jack Bell’s project about diet and sports performance earned “Best of Show,” corporate awards and “U.S. Surgeon General’s Special Science Award.” (Contributed / Kim Bell)

MADISON – Mill Creek Elementary School students excelled at the Alabama Science and Engineering Fair at the University of Alabama in Huntsville on April 3.

These students first won on campus and then at regional competition, fifth-grade teacher Jacqueline ‘Jackie’ Smith said. Smith sponsors Mill Creek’s science fair.

Jack Bell’s project asked, “Will eating healthy foods cause improved sports performance?” Bell received the “Kiwanis Special Award” at regionals. At state, Bell earned “Best of Show,” The Boeing Company’s “Best in Junior Division Award” and Public Health Department’s special award.

Bell also earned the “U.S. Surgeon General’s Special Science Award” “because his project made a real-world connection to the health of his friends, family and teachers,” Smith said.

Bell selected this project because he didn’t perform well at baseball after eating unhealthy food. “When I ate something healthy, I did much better,” Bell said.

Earning fourth place, Sneha Subramani’s study looked at people’s left- or right-sided actions and earned “Award of Excellence for Research in Psychology.” “Since I was young, I’ve always read books on the brain,” Subramani said. “I learned things in the world prevent people from being completely left sided.”

Adhavan Subramaniyam asked, “How do magnets affect a coil’s RPMs?” and earned third place and the U.S. Navy and Marines special award.

Callie Scroggins and Joshua VanAkin both received honorable mention and U.S. Army special award. Scroggins determined if an incentive causes participants to complete a task quicker. VanAkin questioned if coating a steel core and an electromagnet affects power.

Connor Wing examined plant growth in the biology division for honorable mention.

Several students explored physical science. Both receiving honorable mention, Noah Berry investigated Bernoulli’s Principle, while Claire Congo determined substances that melt ice quickest. Avery Werkheiser examined friction of lubricated surfaces.

Because the fair isn’t mandatory, these students were dedicated to complete projects requiring several weeks to months.

“The kids have a genuine interest in science,” Smith said. “I’m always amazed by the level of commitment and creativity by Mill Creek students. The projects are amazing.”

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