Observer-Dispatch: Local high schoolers prepare research for Utica College science fair

UticaOD 2019 HS Science Fair

Photo Courtesy of Alex Cooper / Observer-Dispatch

More than seven dozen high school students presented their scientific findings Saturday in the Utica College Library Concourse. And while some students couldn’t make it due to the weather, both wings of the concourse were filled with eager scientists.

Caffeine is a stimulant, but did you know that it affects the circulatory system, the heart?

Sara Papale, a 15-year-old Whitesboro high school freshman who entered the 41st annual Utica College Regional Science Fair, certainly does.

“My topic was more about how (caffeine) would affect different-sized people,” she said. “I’m obsessed with the heart.”

Papale and 75 other students like her presented their scientific findings Saturday in the Utica College Library Concourse. And while some students couldn’t make it due to the weather, both wings of the concourse were filled with eager scientists.

“I am beyond happy with the turnout,” said Jessica Thomas, regional science fair director. “I am so pleased — the more projects that we see, the more students are interested in science and solving problems and thinking critically.”

From measuring the resistance of metals to measuring the amount of E. Coli in our front lawns, the students presented many real-world problems, Thomas said, including exhibits on food science, environmental problems and microbiology.

The event criteria was split into two category events — a junior level involving 7th- and 8th-grade students, and a senior level involving 9th- through 12th-grade students.

The stakes were high for the students, who, at the senior level, could win a scholarship of half tuition to Utica College for one year. Other prizes included money and gift cards for category winners.

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