Students prep for the Minnesota Science and Engineering Fair

7:01 PM, Mar 15, 2012   |    comments
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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - The 75th Minnesota State Science and Engineering Fair is set to begin this Sunday.

Twenty-five-hundred Minnesota 6 to 12th grade Students competed for 500 spots at this state level.  Forty-five will advance to the national competition in Pittsburgh in May.  Katherine Carmen and Carolyn Jons see science in the everyday.  Their projects, very different from one another, have advanced them to the state competition. 

The thought of creating an energy efficient car came to Katherine thanks to a common 7th grade project of building and racing wooden cars.  She didn't win, so this year as a Burnsville 10th grader, she set to work figuring out why.  But beyond that... What are the real world implications of this small block of wood on wheels.

She explains, "So by reducing the angle of inclination from the windshield to the front hood of the car, they're actually able to cut down, and then therefore you increase your gas mileage."

She points out her results are echoed in the design of some cars and minivans especially.  But points out that trucks, especially, do not have the ideal rounded top.

From engineer energy efficient cars to preventing mold growth on blueberries... The projects couldn't be more different.

Eden Prairie Eighth grader Carolyn Jons set to work on a practical way for consumers to prevent mold growth on produce... Picking blueberries as her subject of choice. Her method of choice uses steel wool to remove mold-causing oxygen from the berries' storage container.

"So I measured the oxygen level over time and I found that the steel wool had a greater capacity for removing oxygen than the oxygen removal packets," explained Carolyn.

The steel wool was soaked in vinegar to oxidize it before adding it to the air-tight berry container.  She suggests a plastic pail with a rubber o-ring around the lid.

Their projects and all the rest as well are open to the public Monday from 4 to 5:30pm, after the judging is complete.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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