[Dillon Petty, first place overall winner, stands by his award-winning board and project.]
Budding Morgan High scientists shared their research findings at the Annual MHS Science Fair on February 21, 2018. Over 25 students presented their projects to panels of judges before the fair was opened for family and friends to explore. Students competed for first through third place prizes in six areas with overall winners selected for the fair.
Stacey Floyd, MHS physics and material sciences teacher, organizes the fair each year with the assistance of Shana Croft, physics and chemistry; Valerie Hoopes, biology; Kade Morrell, biology; and Rebecca Fenton, Earth Science. Participation in the science fair was not mandatory this year, and the number of participants was significantly lower than last year. “We had over 100 students last year, and only about 25 this year. We didn’t require it this year and only those who really wanted to do it participated. Everything that they did was outside of school,” Floyd reported.
“We had some excellent projects this year,” Floyd continued. “The science fair provides an excellent opportunity for students to pursue a topic and explore it more in-depth. They are also able to expand their knowledge of a certain subject area or combine areas.”
Overall winner, senior Dillon Petty, who is also the Morgan Science Sterling Scholar, combined two areas of science to complete his project. “I combined my two passions, ag science and chemistry to come up with my project. I wanted to use modern day chemistry to help with agriculture,” Petty explained.
Petty’s project, “Buffers in Botany,” won the Plant Science category, as well as the overall prize. “I planted 210 corn plants at my house for my project. My mom is a little upset,” Petty quipped. “It took a lot of work to grow that many plants, measure them each day and run the experiment. My parents helped me measure a lot, and most of the corn grew to 14-15 inches!”
In his research, Petty wanted to determine if chemicals such as sodium sulfate, sodium nitrate and sodium phosphate could act as buffers against acids (sulfuric acid, nitric acid and phosphoric acid) found in common pollutants. Petty learned a lot of new information from his project, but he concluded that he did not use enough acid to “have a result.”
“The buffers made a difference, but it was not big enough to make a relatable trend,” Petty clarified. Petty hopes to re-vamp his project and take it to the Ritchie Science Fair at Weber State. “My goal is the International Science and Engineering Fair,” Petty noted.
Second place in the fair was awarded to senior Haley Bess for her work in Social Sciences. Bess, the English Sterling Scholar, also coupled two areas of interest for her award-winning project. “I love English and Science, so I did a research project called “The Effects of Supplementing the Facts in Journalism,” Bess detailed.
“For my project, I took an article with facts and changed the connotations of the other words to positive for one article and negative for another article, leaving all of the facts the same. I then tested the responses of those who read the articles,” Bess continued.
“My research showed that readers recalled the facts the same, but their opinions were swayed by the positive and negative connotations,” Bess determined.
Bess, who hopes to study English or Journalism at BYU this fall, learned that “journalism and what is written really has an effect on what people think, and it gives both the reader and the writers a responsibility to critically examine what they read and write.”
Sophomore Ammon Patterson claimed third prize overall with his engineering project, “An Endothermic Reaction Adhesive Bandage.” Floyd observed, “Ammon’s project was creative and a fun new idea that uses a 3-D printer to print more effective bandages.” Patterson also earned first place in the Engineering section.
Floyd elucidated, “The science fair allows for a lot of creativity. First place winners in Materials Science, Suzanna Stegelmeier and Emily Wilson, did a project with ceramics. They very scientifically tracked and adjusted the materials used to create a new glaze for ceramics.”
“Doing these projects can get the kids excited about science, and that it what we love to see!” Floyd celebrated.
Congratulations to all the science fair winner and participants on their hard work and excellent projects and presentations!
2018 MHS Science Fair Results
1st Place-Dillon Petty
2nd Place-Haley Bess
3rd Place-Ammon Patterson
1st Place – Haley Bess
2nd Place – Brandon Hone
3rd Place – Ethan Offill
Medicine and Health
1st Place – Olivia Farmer
2nd Place – Dexter Ward
3rd Place – Elizabeth Watt
1st Place – Dillon Petty
1st Place – Caden Smith
1st Place – Suzanna Stegelmeier and Emily Wilson
2nd Place – Jacob Pincock and Jaxson McFarland
1st Place – Ammon Patterson
2nd Place – Adam Smith
3rd Place – Holden Petty
Haley Bess, second place overall winner, displays her awards