Multimedia Journalist

Local students compete at regional science fair

Danisha Hogue/California Democrat
California High School senior Quinn Albertson practices giving her presentation to peers before the Lincoln University Regional Science and Engineering Fair.

The result of California High School senior Quinn Albertson’s science experiment was tied to much more than a competition at a regional science fair. It was tied to her health.

Albertson was one of many area middle and high school students competing at the 37th annual Lincoln University Regional Science and Engineering Fair, where budding scientists displayed their skills in microbiology, behavioral science, computer technology and more.

Albertson’s project was to study the effects of reducing sugar levels in a person’s diet.

After consulting with a professional and monitoring her blood levels, she reduced the amount of added sugar in her diet for 32 days, while tracking her sleep quality and sugar cravings.

“My sugar craving went down, and my energy went up over the month,” Albertson said. “I did lose 8 pounds, which was a plus.”

For the projects, science teacher Jamie Johnston had the students begin projects at the beginning of the semester. The class ran a sample presentation Thursday, and nine students, including Albertson, went to the competition Friday.

“They picked something that they thought was a problem or a question they felt affected their life,” Johnston said. “This is the first time for these students to compete at the fair. We had several other red and white ribbon winners, too.”

Judges scored projects Friday evening with blue ribbons for first, red for second and white for third.

Albertson, who confessed she was nervous before presenting her project, received a white ribbon.

Cynthia Morin, director of the LU science fair, said judges were looking for projects that showed if the students did enough research, understood their projects and provided clear descriptions on scientific thought.

California High School senior Chatman Pardoe’s project received a blue ribbon. He tracked the effects of cellphone use and reading a print book on sleep quality and quantity.

In his hypothesis, he believed he would get more sleep and better quality of sleep by reading before bed. He found the quality was the same; however, he did get more sleep reading before bed.

“I think if people knew being on your phone right before bed would make you sleep less, it might make a difference,” Pardoe said.

A third of the contestants were high school juniors and seniors who submitted papers to judges in LU’s Founders Hall.

Tipton senior Garred Oldham submitted a research paper on which gender experiences the most color blindness.

Other schools who competed included High Point R-3, Latham, Prairie Home and Russellville.

The university will sponsor the top two finalists to attend the International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona, in May.

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