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April 13--  Science students from Vidalia High School and J.R. Trippe Middle school excelled this year at regional and state science fairs.  The students explained their projects at the April meeting of the Vidalia school board and were lauded by board members for their creativity and ability to think "outside the box" as one member said.

Science teacher Jeff Ikner guided the students with their projects and provides a narrative on their accomplishments.

{mosimage}At the high school, Caroline Smith and Brandon Kight placed first overall at the GaTech Savannah Science and Engineering Fair.  Their project title was P.A.K.: Portable Artificial Kidney, an Amelioration of Kidney Dialysis.  They placed first in their specific area; biomedical engineering and won an award from the Yale Engineering Group.  They were flagged at the admissions office for acceptance at Yale, GaTech, and UGA.  They also placed in the top 20 at the State Science Fair and will advance to the International Science Fair held in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania May 10th

{mosimage}Maja Mitchell and Nick Kirk placed second at Region in Engineering and advanced to State.  They designed and built a remote control vehicle powered by solar panels.  A series of capacitors stored the charge and the charge was released gradually and controlled by resistors.  Maja's partner could not attend the board meeting and she was without her exhibit but briefed the board on its potential.

{mosimage}At the Middle School Level, Jarred Fountain, an 8th grade student, placed third in the area of Mathematics for determining the probability of winning the Cracker Barrel Peg Board Solitaire Game. 

{mosimage}Bennett Moore, a seventh grade student, placed second in Engineering for designing a new steering mechanism for cars.  One steering mechanism improved on the current steering design by improving the angle by 30%.  This gives the vehicle a greater turn radius.  The second design gave each wheel independent steering by having a motherboard control a motor attached to each wheel.  This allowed for 360 degree rotation for each wheel. 

{mosimage}Zeel Mehta, a seventh grade student, placed first at Region in Microbiology and advanced to State.  She placed 3rd at State in Microbiology.  Zeel produced and isolated ethanol, a bio-fuel,  from common fruit juices. 

All seven students have already started working on their research projects for next year.  Their success has sparked an interest in the Science Fair amongst other students and more have signed up to compete.