02/22/12 — Two advance to state science fair

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Two advance to state science fair

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on February 22, 2012 1:46 PM

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Norwayne Middle School Middle School student David Williamson will participate in the 2012 N.C. Science and Engineering Fair next month.

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Two students from Wayne School of Engineering placed at the regional science fair. Sawyer Strand, left, placed first in Biology B and will compete in the state science fair. Grayson Collins, right, placed third in technology and engineering. Also pictured is science teacher Susan Randolph.

Three area students captured honors at the Southeast Regional Science Fair at Feb. 11, with two advancing to the state competition next month.

Southeast Regional Science Fair was held at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Nearly 200 students from 40 schools in eight counties participated.

Twelve local winners were chosen from last month's countywide science fair to move on to the regional event.

David Williamson, a seventh-grader at Norwayne Middle School, had placed first in technology/engineering and best in show overall for the middle school level at last month's Wayne County science fair event.

He placed first in junior technology and engineering at the regional event, and will now go to the 2012 N.C. Science and Engineering Fair, which will take place March 23-24 at Meredith College in Raleigh.

This will be Williamson's second year competing at the state level. Last year, he did not place there but hopes this year will be different.

For his project, he made an electric generator from scratch. It took him almost two weeks, he said.

"He worked on it several times, adding coils to interact with each other and decrease the efficiency, so more coils isn't always better," said his science teacher at Norwayne, Andrew Forsleff.

"I learned that as the number of coils in a generator increases so does the voltage output," Williamson said.

The other student invited to compete at the state level is Sawyer Strand, a 10th grader at Wayne School of Engineering. He placed first in the Biology B category, both locally and at the regional level for his project on germination of soybeans.

"After many seasons of listening to my stepdad, a farmer, comment about the size of seeds during planting time, I decided to test if the germination rates of soybean seeds are affected by their diameter," he explained. "My hypothesis was that the larger size seed would germinate sooner due to an increased seed embryo."

Grayson Collins, a freshman at Wayne School of Engineering, had earned first place locally in the technology and engineering category. She placed third in that category.

"I did my science fair project on Putt-Putt boats," she said. "I tested six different size boilers to see which size boiler allowed the Putt-Putt boat to perform the best. I tested 12 different boats with two of each size boiler. I recorded the time until the boats began putting and the time the boat lasted putting. This allowed me to see which size boiler was most effective. Upon completion of this experiment, I concluded that the smallest boiler performed the best."