Organizers are hoping that the pursuit of higher education will prevail at this year's Southeastern New Mexico Regional Science and Engineering Fair at Eastern New Mexico University.
This is the largest science fair in the 55 years it's been held at ENMU's campus, according to ENMU professor and fair director Ken Cradock. This regional fair for grades six through 12 is part of the Intel International Science Fair, and winners will qualify for the state science fair in April.
Exhibits are open to the public from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Campus Union Building.
Cradock said having the fair on ENMU's campus helps promote lifelong learning, and though only few of the hundreds participating will win awards, he hopes students will see that it's their potential that brings forth such opportunities.
"I think just being here and interacting with other students and with the judges gives them confidence that this is something they can do," Cradock said.
He's also pleased that this fair is much larger and he attributes that to working with schools and teachers to make the application process easy.
Two of the contenders
- A childhood toy — a bubble wand — served as 12-year-old Velinda Fierro's inspiration behind her project. Fierro of Dora Middle School researched what made bubbles last longer.
"To complete that experiment, I had to test glycerin dish washing soap and corn syrup," Fierro said.
She mixed each product with water in her kitchen sink to see which one produced the longest-lasting bubbles.
"I just like the chemistry of it," Fierro said, adding that she's excited and nervous for Saturday's fair. "It kind of makes me happy because I guess it means I did a good job on it."
- Alexa "Lexi" Nicole Aucutt of Mesa Elementary in Clovis tested how the color of water affects how hot it gets.
"When it snows, my mom always tells me to wear darker colors, because the darker colors absorb heat from the sun," said Aucutt on what sparked her curiosity for her experiment."
The 11-year-old used jars of water and put colored construction paper around them for each color (black, red, yellow, white, green and blue), using a thermometer through the lid to test the temperature.
She heated up the water with an infrared light bulb and a clear light bulb.
"I found the light colors reflect the heat so they don't get as hot," Aucutt said.
It's her first time being a participant in this fair so she's most excited about the results and the possibility of going on to the state competition.
Science fair numbers
- 227 entries
- 67 schools involved
- 80 judges ranging from Cannon Air Force Base personnel, ENMU faculty and staff, community members and Intel.
- 50 student volunteers helping to run the event.