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2013 Winners

The following students represent the top five participants:

1.   Lev Krasnovsky  (8th Grade, River Dell Middle School)

TitleIs Hydroponics Worth the Hassle?

Description: In the experiment, “Is Hydroponics Worth the Hassle,” hydroponically grown plants as opposed to soil ones were compared. Hydroponics is the method of growing in which plants take up nutrients from highly fertilized, oxygenated water. After growing cherry tomato plants for almost three months, the growth of hydroponic plants were faster than soil ones and the hydroponic plants had more stomata. However, maintaining hydroponic plants proved to be more expensive than normal gardening on a household scale. On a small scale, hydroponic plants would fruit faster than soil ones, but would cost more money than they would make and be at a greater risk of infection.

2.   Jason Gong  (7th Grade, Fieldstone Middle School)

Title: DNA Extraction Methods and Extracted DNA Amount Comparison

Description: This project compared the methods of DNA extraction from bananas, strawberries, and broccoli with and without a centrifuge. The method which yielded more DNA was observed and the DNA extracted was compared among the bananas, strawberries, and broccoli. It was hypothesized that the method involving the centrifuge would yield the most DNA, allowing the cell contents of each organic source to separate better than if they were just left to sit. It was predicated that the most amount of DNA was extracted from bananas and the least amount of DNA from the broccoli, as the banana is the softest and the broccoli is the hardest of the plants.

3.   Magriples Demitri  (6th Grade, Slokum School) and Brian Payerle  (6th Grade, Slokum School)

Title: The 5 Second Rule – Fact or Fiction?

Description: Does picking up fallen food from the ground within 5 seconds prevent the transfer of bacteria? Does the type of food that falls to the ground affect how much bacteria is transferred from the ground? Does the type of ground on which food falls affect how much bacteria is transferred to the food? This project was about proving that the “5 second rule” was just an “old wives tale.” The five-second rule states that food dropped on the ground will be safe to eat and not covered in germs as long as it is picked up within 5 seconds of being dropped. Experiments determined if there is any truth to this theory. Agar plates were used to test if picking up fallen food from the ground in five seconds prevents the transfer of bacteria. In addition, experiments compared the type of food that falls or the type of ground affects bacterial transfer. 

4.   Jennifer Kong  (6th Grade, Cherry Hill School)

Title: Energy Through Color

Description: The objective of this project was to determine which color would be able to absorb more energy from the sunlight. It was hypothesized that light color would be able to absorb more energy from the sunlight. The molecule components of the lighter pigments have the ability to take in more energy. The method used was to shine sunlight on colored-bottles that are filled with a liquid. The light energy will be absorbed by the color, converted into heat energy, and transferred to the liquid. If more light energy is absorbed by a certain color, more heat energy will be transferred to the liquid inside the bottle. Consequently, the temperature of the liquid inside this colored-bottle will be higher. By using a thermometer, the colored-bottle with higher temperature liquid can be pinpointed. It was expected that white and the lighter colors will absorb more energy from the sunlight. White and the lighter colors are more transparent so the sunlight can go through the glass and colors easily. The darker colors are opaque. As a result, the sun needs to have more energy to make the liquid warmer. This project is to research which color will have the ability to absorb more energy.