Young scientists rework Edison's invention

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:14

Others measure pressure, create catapults and melt ice, By John Church The Ogdensburg School presented the creative minds of the sixth- and eighth-grade classes at a science fair Thursday night. In keeping with ongoing studies relating to Thomas Edison and his iron ore processing facility on Sparta Mountain the sixth-graders had to develop a device to separate iron ore from sand. Four teachers and three guest judges from the Sterling Hill Mining Museum checked to see which invention most closely matched the theory and design that Edison developed. It was no easy task. “We planned to evaluate all the separating devices quickly but ended up taking an hour and a half to come to a final decision,” said science teacher Marc Gaydos. “The eighth-graders needed to design an experiment which had an independent variable that would change the dependant variable in a measurable way,” said Gaydos. Experiments that didn’t make it into the final three explored the varying pressure in a basketball and how it affected the percentage of successful free throw baskets; the distance a catapult could throw various density objects (one object was a sock ball — the experimenters did not specify if the socks were clean or dirty); and which household products melt ice the quickest (rock salt was best, baking soda was worst as it insulated the ice as compared to untreated ice). Judges and winners Guest judges: Dr. James Brown Robert Hauck Ron Mishkin Sixth-grade Edison Expo winners: 1st, Raymond Thompson 2nd, Mike McCurry 3rd, Tara Lally Eighth-grade experimenters: 1st, Mike Astor & John Fierro n effect of carbon dioxide on plants 2nd, Sophie Daubner & Emily Rabe n rating fish on time to swim an obstacle course 3rd, Kevin Hagan & Brad Ross n desalination of salt water