It's a matter of science – but fun means great potential for these Carthage High School students.

It's a matter of science – but fun means great potential for these Carthage High School students.

After countless hours of hard work throughout the year both in the classroom and after school, seven CHS students took their unique projects to the Missouri Southern Regional Science Fair on March 26. The results were gratifying for: Aaron Davis, Kiefer Maggard, Michael Johnson, Blake Splitter, Garrett Jack, Ashtyn Gregg and Zeb Reed.

In the Engineering category, Davis took second place and Maggard took third. In the Medicine and Health category, Reed took first place and in doing so, won a scholarship to MSSU. Reed's project also won him first runner up to Internationals in Phoenix, Ariz.

Special awards were as follows: Reed won Caduceus Club Outstanding Project in Medical Science; Gregg won Association of Women Geoscientists and the Stockholm Junior Water Prize Regional Award.
“They did a fantastic job,” said CHS science teacher Kari Binney. “I was very pleased with them.”

“So am I,” added Wayne Barr, CHS instructor of engineering design development. “They worked very hard and put in a lot of hours. They've worked on these projects all year.”

In the Medicine and Health category, Reed's study went up against 12 other projects. His focus was on the rhizopus fungus, which involved finding a natural inhibitor for the fungus that began after the May 22 Joplin tornado.

“Science has always been my favorite subject,” Reed said. “I plan on going to U of A for my chemistry degree, then on to med school.”

Binney said she reads science journals throughout the year, and simply offers ideas to the students who commonly go after what catches their interest. For instance, Maggard's engineering project involved a magnetic motor. For Gregg, her project filtered arsenic out of water using banana plantain and orange peels. For these young minds, though, their interests will lead them into their bright career paths. Jack, who will be graduating this May, said he has already been accepted into Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Mo.

“I've wanted to design roller coasters since I was in second grade,” he said with a laugh.