Thursday, March 27, 2014
Erin Redwood was interested in checking out how moisture can have an impact on bearing capacity on a given object – that is, how much weight it can hold.
The North Augusta Middle School eighth-grader tried it, and judges liked her efforts at the Savannah River Nuclear Solutions Regional Science Engineering Fair, held at USC Aiken last Saturday.
Erin received a national Broadcom Masters Special Award in recognition of her work.
So did middle school seventh-grader Ashlynn Sweat. Davis Campbell, also a North Augusta student, received a third place in the middle school chemistry and physics division.
The judges also recognized Erin for receiving second place overall among middle school students and took first in the middle school electricity, magnetism and materials competition. Ashlynn was second in the chemistry and physics contest.
For her project, Erin – the daughter of Andy and Shellie Redwood – used bricks to test four types of ground materials – both wet and dry – sand, clay, stones and garden soil. The wet versions of each material did the best, with the crushed stones staying together in the experiment to hold the most weight. Erin also participated in the science fair the past two years.
“I really will keep at it,” she said. “I want to become a civil engineer like my father.”
Ashlynn also participated in the science fair last year.
Her project at the 2014 event focused on hair-straightening cream she could use on her own curly hair. She tried products that were cheap, a little more costly and really, really expensive. To her surprise, the least and most expensive creams provided the best performances.
“I really like science fairs so much,” Ashlynn said. “It gives us a chance to experience projects we wouldn’t get a chance to do in the classroom.”
The projects connected with STEM programs – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
“It seems a lot of schools understand that they really need to step into the STEM fields,” said Kim Mitchell of SRNS’s education outreach department. “There’s a great awareness for kids to understand that and compete for jobs.”