Young scientists share their findings with the world

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — For several months seventh- and eighth-graders at the SeDoMoCha Middle School have been developing projects — either on their own or in pairs — for the annual science fair. On the evening of May 18, the students presented their findings to the public with projects on display in the cafeteria and adjacent multipurpose room.

Seventh graders Aine Casey and Rebekah Demers attempted to answer the question, “Does Nomenclature Affect Gustatory Perception?”

“For our project we created popsicles,” Casey said.

“With ingredients that were less than appealing,” Demers added.

The two made hot sauce “hotsicles” as well as sour, chocolate milk and pretzel flavored popsicles. Then the name of the dessert revealed the ingredients for some test subjects and not for others.

“I thought they would be more willing to eat more if they did not know what was in their popsicle,” Demers said.

“They enjoyed it more if they knew what was in it,” Casey said.

“Aine ended up being correct in her hypnosis,” Demers said, as the two differed on what they thought would happen before conducting their experiments.

“I tested people on their music memory,” said seventh grader Alexis Cole, who worked with Kiya Cook. Cole said she had five adults and five children watch an online music video and see how much of the composition they could recall on a worksheet

“They could only store so much before they forgot it,” Cole said.

Seventh-grader and SeDoMoCha Middle School softball player Madyson Skipper conducted a video analysis of nine students between grades 6 and 8, testing their pitching skills as she wanted to analyze the mechanics and physics of the sport. Like a number of her peers,

Skipper’s display featured a posterboard of information along with clips of her experiments shown via laptop.

“They were all girls and I took people who were experienced,” Skipper said of the nine hurlers who each used a windmill motion to fire off their pitches the regulation 35 feet to the catchers. “I always thought a bent arm was bad … I always thought that was really bad but it turns out it’s not,” Skipper said.

“If you want a perfect strike, it’s better to open your hips than to close them,” she added.
Seventh-grader Makayla Landry said she researched animation. “I learned that animation is traditional and is kind of hard and how old it is,” she said, with a flipbook of her drawings on display.

Eighth-graders Hunter Kemp and Sean Leland constructed a smokehouse for their science fair project.

“We built a smokehouse, we put beef, deer and fish in here,” Kemp said, opening the smokehouse door to reveal several racks. “We used water and salt and sugar. The hypothesis was how different types of meat had different smoking times.”

Kemp and Leland discovered their fish took six hours to be properly smoked, and the beef and deer meat took about five and a half hours each with the temperature ranging between 150 and 170 degrees.

Seventh-grader Makenzie Sands said that with her “bath bombs” experiment, “I tested different ingredients to see which would dissolve faster in water.”

“I tested the ingredients in hot and cold water to see which had a better fizzing chemical reaction,” Sands said. She explained that hot water produced a better reaction in each instance.

“It’s cheaper to buy a lot of ingredients and make a bath bomb that works than buying a high-end product,” Sands said, saying these would be used to help relax in the tub.

Seventh-graders Austin Seavey and Anthony Smith wanted to do their own research on the impact of temperature on the pounds per square inch (PSI) of air pressure in footballs. The two said they placed footballs in a refrigerator, a freezer and an oven to see what would happen.

“Our hypothesis was correct, all temperatures affect footballs,” Smith said as the PSI in their footballs all changed from a reading of 12.5.

As the students exhibited their projects for the public, a panel of judges walked around and those in attendance could make selections for the People’s Choice Award. At the conclusion of the science fair, grade 8 science teacher Lindsay Noyes announced the winners.

The People’s Choice project was that carried out by seventh-graders Kevin Feix and Aaron Melia. Honorable mention recognition was given to eighth-graders Sean Billingslea and Garrett Cooley.

Ava Rayfield was honored with the third-place project. Noyes said that second and first place were separated by only two tenths of a point as grade 8 student Mimi Cameron earned second-place honors. The 2017 SeDoMoCha Middle School first-place project belonged to eighth-grader Kelli Black.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
LET THERE BE LIGHT — SeDoMoCha Middle School seventh-grader Isaiah Arno powers a lightbulb via the electric bike during the annual grade 7-8 science fair on May 18. For several months students at the school in Dover-Foxcroft developed projects and they presented their findings to the public with projects on display in the cafeteria and adjacent multipurpose room.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
MEAT AND GREET — Eighth-graders Sean Leland, left, and Hunter Kemp built a smokehouse for their SeDoMoCha Middle School science project and the pair tested how much time would be needed to prepare fish, beef and deer meat in their structure.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
WHAT’S IN A NAME? — Grade 7 student Aine Casey, left, and classmate Rebekah Demers tested nomenclature — the act or process of naming — with some of their test subjects eating popsicles named for the ingredients and others not having this same information.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
THE SCIENCE OF DEFLATEGATE — Seventh-graders Austin Seavey, left, and Anthony Smith wanted to see if and how temperatures would affect the pounds per square inch of air pressure in footballs, as they stored pigskins in a refrigerator, freezer and oven.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
ABLE TO SEE CAMOUFLAGE AND INVISIBILITY — For his science fair project, SeDoMoCha Middle School seventh-grader Bodie Clarke researched the advancement of camouflage and invisibility.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
BATH BOMBS — Makenzie Sands, a seventh-grader, looked into reaction of ingredients in hot and cold water for her “bath bombs” science project.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
VIDEO ANALYSIS — Seventh-grader Madyson Skipper analysed the mechanics and physics in softball pitching through video footage of nine athletes.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
SEEING DOUBLE — Meghan Spooner, left, and fellow seventh-grader Kamryn Commeau studied several sets of twins for their project.

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