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Science projects show imagination, application

The 27th annual Tulare County Science & Engineering Fair was held March 19-23 at the Sequoia Mall in Visalia. With projects ranging from scholarly to practical, Tulare and Kings County students submitted 135 entries to the annual event.

Ducor Union's Valery Vigil tested the protection fluoride provides teeth by applying toothpaste to eggshells and then subjecting them to a variety of liquids, including vinegar, lemon, sodas, and coffee. Monache High School's Madison Meredith (who presented a project at the state championship last year) entered a study on the healthiness of water in Lake Success, using Army Corps of Engineers data for comparison.

2012 Tulare County Science & Engineering Fair Many students were surprised by their results. Henry Pfaff and Kyle Beedle of Three Rivers Union found that reaction times were slower for subjects using hands-free cell phones compared to those using hand-held devices - a discovery that impressed judge Diane Shew. "You have learned something that has real application in today's world," she said.

On Thursday, March 22, event organizers selected six projects to advance to the California State Science Fair beginning April 30 in Los Angeles.

2012 Tulare County Science & Engineering Fair State Finalists

  • George Caratan, Grade 7
    Columbine School District (Delano)
  • Hayden Costa, Grade 8
    St. Rose-McCarthy School (Hanford)
    You're Drinking That?
  • Steven Higgenbotham, Grade 7
    Divisadero Middle School (Visalia)
    Carrying Capacity of the East Fork Winter Range
  • Madison Meredith, Grade 9
    Monache High School (Porterville)
    Analyzing the Healthiness of the Water Quality of Success Lake
  • Henry Pfaff & Kyle Beedle, Grade 8
    Three Rivers Union School District
    Ring! Ring! Phones and Reaction Time
  • Heidi Van Beek, Grade 8
    Sundale Union School District (Tulare)
    Color vs. Taste

2012 Tulare County Science & Engineering Fair State Alternates

  • Valery Celeste Vigil, Grade 8
    Ducor Union School District
    Saved By Flouride!
  • Lindsay Swall, Grade 6
    Sundale Union School District (Tulare)
    Soil Microorganism ... Who Needs Em?

A list of all of the 2012 Tulare County Science & Engineering Fair winners is available on the Science Fair website.