Young scientists try to impress judges with projects

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Which diaper brand is the most absorbent? Will the car of the future float in the air? Those were some of the projects featured at the Regional Science and Engineering Fair in Biloxi Wednesday.

Hundreds of students showcased their talents by putting products to the test or creating their own inventions. Did you know that you can make a fruit battery to light up a light bulb? Just ask six-year-old Caroline Grice.

"I got my dad's voltage tester, and I tested the fruits. And the fruits I picked all worked," said the Bayou View Elementary student. "It could be a pineapple, orange, lemon, a banana."

Her electrifying project was among 700 that competed in the Regional Science and Engineering Fair. A fifth grader put popcorn to the test to find out which brand is the best. Another young man tried to impress the judges with his stain fighters hypothesis.

"We just put it in a washing machine, and that got cleaned the best," he explained.

You could tell the young scientists put a lot of work into their projects, from the research to the final results.

"You see the same projects year after year, but then there's always a handful that are different that look great, great minds," said David Sliman, Science Fair Director.

David Alexander's project really caught the judge's eyes. He wanted to know if colored lights could affect the speed of a solar car.

"As I hypothesized, pure sunlight goes the fastest and red sunlight goes the slowest. Probably cars in the future would have different colors tinted onto their solar panels, so they could either travel faster or slower," said David, a fifth grader at Our Lady of Fatima School.

Speaking of car of the future, two students at St. Patrick Catholic High School created a hover craft that can glide above the ground. The Star Wars-looking vehicle was powered by a leaf blower.

"The real reason we built this was to help with future transportation, because it's a brand new way of transporting off the ground. That's what we're hoping," said junior Dustin Williams.

"We were very surprised. We aimed for a 120 pound person to be able to ride on it, and we got up to 180 pound person," said sophomore Matt Fredericks.

The guys have proven that science can be fun.

First through third place winners will advance to the state Science Fair. And one or two projects were chosen to go to the international competition.

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