Science Fair Wizards

K.C. Mayo and his ‘Armthritis’ invention. Andrew Cremata

Skagway kids add science to their list of skills


Everything from original inventions to complicated math problems were on display at the recent Science Fair for grade 7-12 school children. While some students chose to focus on solving more local issues such as the decline of boreal toad numbers in Skagway, others chose more global and wide-ranging topics to tackle such as the best method for removing nuclear fallout.
“This is their first real research project with their own ideas and their own work,” said science teacher Ruth Knight, who organized the fair. Twelve judges were given instructions by Knight to review the 26 entries based on a set of standard criteria, and to select their own personal “Best in Show.”
Have you ever wondered if video games qualify as aerobic exercise? Riley Westfall just might have an answer based on a series of experiments monitoring heart-rate of individuals glued to a Nintendo Game Cube.
Have you or anyone else in your family struggled with arthritis, making it almost impossible to write? You might want to check out K.C. Mayo’s “Armthritis”, an original invention which hooks to the forearm and allows the wearer to write with a pen without having to use their hand in any way.
Brandy Mayo tackled the question of whether a person’s body temperature is affected by mood. Interestingly, evidence from experimentation proved there may be something to the old saying, “hot under the collar.”
In all seven projects were selected to compete at the Alaska Science Fair in Anchorage, five of which earned Best in Show honors. Casey Mayo and Westfall won best in show ribbons along with Jessie Ellis and Kaitlyn Surdyk who asked, “What soil and conditions affect plant growth most?” Amanda Jensen, Emily Herbig and Paige Hahn won for “Producing hydro power,” and Shelby Surdyk drew praise for her project entitled, “What is the best way to reclaim land contaminated by nuclear waste.”
The additional two projects which will travel to state are John Doland’s, “Is C programming still useful,” and “Matrices” by math wizard Samantha Welch.
“They were so successful for their very first time,” said Knight. “I think it’s something Skagway can do well.”
Concerning the students’ experience Knight added, “They learned new skills, gained knowledge about subjects of personal interest, and now understand the process of science. Many of the students have found another area in which they excel. Good job Panthers!”

Meredith Hisman had fun with her ‘guillotine pet door.’ AC

Skagway School Science Fair Results

Jr. High
All of the 8 projects fit into two categories, Physical Science and Medicine/Health.
Physical Science:
1st place projects:
Balloon Rockets: Jayce Ellis, Nikita Ford, and Anna Korsmo
Wave Barriers: Jonny Castle and Greg Eagan
2nd place project: Danny Moore
3rd place Project: Nick Ackerman and Airk Cochran
1st place projects:
**Are Video Games Aerobic? : Riley Westfall
**Armthritis; K.C. Mayo
2nd place project: Mandy Castle and Amanda Hoover
3rd place project: Polly Brown and Rori Leaverton

High School
1st place:
Which Yeast Produces the most Carbon Dioxide?: Thomas Etue
1st place:
A Study on Cerebral Palsy: Monica Harris
Plant Science:
1st place:
**What Soil and Conditions Affect Plant Growth Most?: Jessie Ellis and Kaitlyn Surdyck
Computer Science:
1st place:
* Is C programming Still Useful?: John Doland
1st place:
* Matrices: Samantha Welch
1st place:
** Producing Hydro-Power: Paige Hahn, Emily Herbig, and Amanda Jensen
2nd place: Meredith Hisman
1st place:
Which Detergent Cleans Best?: Bryce Jones and Kaylie O’Daniel
2nd place: Andrea Parent
Behavioral Science:
1st place:
Do Moods Affect Body Temperature?: Brandy Mayo
2nd place: Brent Beckner, CC Hahn, and Erica Harris
Animal Science:
1st place:
Toads and Pollution: Cody Burnham
2nd palce: Kayla Hendrickson
3rd place: Elise Doland
Physical Science:
1st place:
Which Wing Design is Better for Inverted Flight?: Mickey Wilson
2nd place: Nathan Herbig and Lachlan Dennis
Environmental Science:
1st place:
** What is the Best Process to Reclaim Land Contaminated by Nuclear Waste? Shelby Surdyk
2nd place: Devin Fairbanks

* Selected to compete at the Alaska Science and Engineering Fair (ASEF) in Anchorage.
** Selected as Best of Show and for ASEF competition, April 11 - 13.