Mason Scanlon (HSES) and Ashleigh Nicoll (HRES) were among the eight elementary school students selected at the Central Regional Science Fair to advance to the N.C. Science and Engineering State Fair to be held at Meredith College on March 16. There were 55 projects in the elementary division of third through fifth graders at the Regional Fair. The Central Regional Science Fair consists of Durham, Granville, Wake, Vance, Warren, Johnston, Wilson, Nash, Edgecombe, Halifax, Northampton, and Franklin counties. The Fair was held at Hillside High School in Durham for Elementary, Middle, and High School students in the Central North Carolina region. The projects at the Regional Fair had all been selected at the school level to advance to regionals.
Ashleigh Nicoll’s project, “Earth vs. Apophis”, stems from her ambition to become an astrophysicist someday. She heard Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson (Astrophysicist, Host of Nova, and Director of Hayden Planetarium in N.Y.) speak at UNC last year for the N.C. Science Festival, and she became fascinated with the asteroid Apophis. She decided to do a project based on the prediction that Apophis could hit earth in 2036 in the Pacific Ocean. Her project was simply to determine if the depth of the ocean would have any impact on the speed of the wave that would be generated by an asteroid striking the ocean. Ashleigh is a fourth grade student at Holly Ridge Elementary School.
Mason Scanlon’s project, “The Sound Quality of Homemade Speakers”, stems from Mason’s love of electronics. For his project, he designed two speakers out of paper plates, magnets, insulated copper wire and card stock paper. He designed one of the speakers with a greater number of paper stabilizers for shock absorption. He then surveyed over 20 adults to compare his two paper plate speakers and to determine if this variable created a better sound quality. He proved his theory, with 86 percent of his survey participants selecting the speaker with more stabilizers as the one with better sound quality. Mason is a fourth grade student at Holly Springs Elementary School.