HOSCHTON — Students at Mill Creek participated in the high school’s first-ever science fair Friday.
Nearly 50 members of the school’s Science National Honor Society, founded this year, participated in the inaugural event. Most worked in teams of two or three, and a total of 18 projects were entered into the science fair.
The projects were judged by faculty members with research backgrounds, and the winners were announced in an awards ceremony Friday afternoon. Science teachers Jennifer Maloney and Phillip Powell sponsored the science fair.
“I never thought we would win, because there were lots of good projects out there,” said Sue Park, a senior who worked with two teammates on her project, which won first place in the fair. “I’m not the only frog in the pond.”
Park said she enjoyed the research experience so much she’s considering studying chemistry in college now.
Park and her partners, Sadia Hasan and Chinenyenwa Okoye, explored ways to increase the efficiency of an eraser. Their research question stemmed from the problem of erasers leaving incomplete marks on assessments like the SAT. As part of their experiment, the girls made their own erasers and discovered the most efficient ones needed a certain amount of mineral oil.
The experience of winning the school science fair was so exciting for Hasan that she had tears in her eyes.
“This is an event that will go down in the history of my life,” she said. “This is definitely a memorable event for me.”
Now, the girls said, they’ll work on getting their project ready for the county science fair.
Alexis Sutlief and Melanie Latham, whose project on reflective materials and thermal energy placed second, said they learned many important lessons from the experience.
“Doing research and applying it to the real world is what science is all about,” Sutlief said.
Tiffany Le, who worked with Alex Rus and Michelle Kim on a project studying absorbance of oxygen at different levels of a lake, said doing a science fair project was “definitely worthwhile.”
“I’ve got a better appreciation of when someone else makes a discovery,” she said.