By Denise Dick
Inventions to make potato chips or repair electronic devices, and projects to determine the heating efficiency of geothermal energy are just a few of the entries in the science fair at Chaney’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program.
Students in sixth through 12th grade completed projects, and participation was voluntary.
The types of projects varies depending on students’ grade level.
Sixth-graders had to either invent a product or innovate a new design for an existing project.
Teacher Sharon Ragan said the first step was for them to come up with the idea. Then they drew a picture of it in their engineering notebook. Next came drawing the product in a computer-aided drafting program and finally, they created a prototype.
Bri’Ann Little, 11, made a slipper that massages the wearer’s foot as they walk. She selected marbles placed beneath a sheath of felt inside the slipper to do the massaging.
Devlin Clevenger, 12, designed an automatic compact-disc cleaner.
“You put the disc in, and it comes out clean,” he said.
Thomas Steele, 12, introduced the Chipenator, a machine that allows people to make potato chips at home.
You put a potato in to the top of the device.
“It chops them up and fries them,” he said.
Kelvin Monserrat, 12, invented the Fixenator, a machine that diagnoses then repairs electronic devices.
“It comes with instructions,” Kelvin assured.
Seventh-graders Carlos Jones and Tyler James, both 12, used their project to determine the most efficient use of geothermal energy.
“We used geothermal energy to heat a house,” Carlos said.
They constructed a model of a house that draws heat from the earth.
“We found out that when you don’t use water [and only use air], the air is hotter,” Tyler said.
Eighth-grader Rayonna Booth, 13, tested the wind energy needed for a wind turbine, determining that 40-degree angles on the turbine generated the best speed to harness the most energy.
The projects of eighth-grade twins Asianique and Tasianique Coder, 14, and their classmates Trevor Davies and Monique Abron, both 13, examined how turbines use hydroelectric power.
Ragan said the students helped each other with the projects.
“There’s a lot of peer learning involved,” the teacher said.