MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ - Deerfield Middle School held their annual Science Fair on Saturday, April 1st in the school gymnasium. Students from 3rd to 8th grade lined up their experiments for parents, faculty, and judges to witness. These young scientists did not disappoint, thinking outside the box, using their hobbies to spark their curiosity.
Laine Rittman, is a sixth grade student, who earned honorable mention for her project, "Do different types of music affect the heart rate?" I am really into music,” explained Rittman, so much so, that it evokes a joyful feeling. “Music makes me feel good and I wanted to see if it could affect my heart,” she said.
In her experiment, Rittman discovered that certain music has different effects on different people. Rittman performed the experiment on a fellow classmate and found that it had a calming effect on the subject. She also concluded that the heart rate isn’t always affected by the music, “it doesn’t always go up or down,” explains Rittman.
Seventh grader Ryan Wargaski’s project was titled “Magnetic Motor.” His project uses field coil motors, nails with wires wrapped around it, which are made magnetic using and electrical source. For his experiment, Wagaski used his batteries to charge the field coil motors. The battery creates a magnet, causing the centerpiece, or armature to have different polarities. Just outside are two fixed north and south polarities. Since opposites attract, the armature’s south polarity will be attracted to the fixed north polarity. What keeps the device moving is that when the brush and commutator touch, it changes the switches the armature’s polarity, causing it to continuously spin.
Lexi Santos and Lilah DiNorscio attempted to fill up a balloon with decomposed fruit with their experiment, earning them honorable mention for, “Up Up and Away.” Santos and DiNorscio mashed up strawberries and bananas, placed them inside a bottle, and covered the bottle with a balloon, they then observed it and documented their results. “As bacteria eats the decomposed fruit, it releases a gas called ethylene, which will fill up the balloon.” The experiment left one question for these up and coming scientists, why didn’t the bottle with decomposing banana fill up the balloon? They attempted the experiment three times.
Matthew Saia, the 8th grade scientist, who focused his scientific curiosity towards viscosity, in his experiment “Sometimes fast, sometimes slow, viscosity is the resistance to flow.” His experiment was more than just a catchy name, it earned him first place in his grade level. “I became interested in viscosity when I first learned about it in class, but I wanted to make it more exciting.” Saia tested honey, water, and ketchup on cardboard, paper, and plastic.
Allison and Chuck Saia, Matthew's parents, learned of their son’s first place achievement, Allison had stepped out to reach Chuck, who was rushing to view his son’s display. Allison learned first of the news and was ecstatic, quickly embracing her son. Chuck wasn’t too far behind, walking in moments later to congratulate Matthew on his achievements.
Coming in first for the third grade level experiments was Alexander Wang, with “Angry birds launch strategies”; 4th and 5th grade demonstration, Jack Wargaski, with “Mud fuel cells; for 4th and 5th grade experiment Sean Jaqua and Anthony Denora, with Bottle Flipping: Luck, skill, or science; for 6th grade demonstrations Lauren McCauley, with “How to protect your brain when you train"; Braden Caccamo and Sean Murphy won first place with “Sounds of silence: Sound insulation", for the sixth and seventh grade experiment; first place winners for seventh and eighth grade demonstration went to Nicholas Carranza, for “Ancient Inca Sciences.”