WCPS Students To Compete In N.C. Science & Engineering Fair

Three Wayne County Public Schools students recently placed at the top or near the top of their divisions at the Southeast Region Science Fair, held at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. As a result of their successes, they have all been invited to compete at the North Carolina Science and Engineering Fair, which will be held later this month, March 27-28, at North Carolina State University.

From left to right: Patricia Velasco (WCPS Lead Science Teacher), Lovens Paul, Sophia Bean, & Teddy Acorn

Sophia Bean, a fourth grade student at Meadow Lane Elementary, won an exemplary award at the regional fair. She is competing in the Elementary Division at the state competition. Her project is titled, “Feel the Need for (Magnetic) Speed.”

“I am really interested in roller coasters and would like to design them one day,” states Ms. Bean. “With this experiment, I was trying to test the effect of distance and speed using a magnetic linear accelerator.”

There are 20 Categories for the Junior and Senior Divisions. Lovens Paul, a senior at Goldsboro High School, took second place at the regional fair.

“I am originally from Haiti, where there is a shortage of food and gas,” states Mr. Paul. “For my project, I really wanted to do something that could have a global impact.”

Mr. Paul is competing in the Senior Chemistry Category at the state competition. His project is titled, “Can Food Waste Produce Alcohol?”

“I collected food thrown away in the school cafeteria by students, combined the food waste in a blender, and added yeast and sugar to begin a fermentation process,” adds Mr. Paul. “After six days, a small amount of liquid was formed. My science teacher and I tested the substance and found it was flammable, proving food waste could be used to help produce alcohol for potential fuel.”

Teddy Acorn, a sixth grade student at Wayne School of Engineering, competed in the Junior Engineering Category and took second place at the regional fair. While he will unfortunately be unable to compete at the state competition due to a conflict with another academic technology-based competition that day, he was proud of what he accomplished at the local and regional science fair levels. His project was titled, “Does Shape Matter?”

“I tested the shape and design of parachutes to determine which performed the best,” states Mr. Acorn. “I found the circular design was the slowest, the cross shape design was second slowest, and the rectangular design was the fastest and had the most control.”

Before making it to the regional science fair, the students first competed and took first place in their division at their school-level science fair and then again at the district-wide science fair in January.

“We congratulate these three students for their success and wish Ms. Bean and Mr. Paul continued success at the North Carolina Science and Engineering Fair,” adds Dr. Michael Dunsmore, WCPS superintendent. “These students clearly have a passion for science and the world around them. They have also demonstrated strong math and English skills to be able to effectively calculate and document their experimental findings and research.”

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