LAND O'LAKES — 'Tis the season for a lot of things, including the school science fair. It's the first step for some who will move on to regional, state and, eventually, for two exceptional Pasco students, national competition.
Some 447 projects were entered last week at the Rushe Middle Science Fair that was judged Tuesday by teachers and Advanced Placement science students from Sunlake High who seemed happy to offer insight.
"It's fun," said Amanda Hernandez, 17, as she and a few others combed the media center judging row upon row of back boards. "You get to see the different projects and what kids came up with."
Like finding out what kind of paper towel is more absorbent, what kind of soil will grow seeds faster and which cheese — American or Swiss — turns moldy first.
"There's good ones," said Nick Satnarain, 16. "And there are ones that are not so good."
Added Justin Sepanski, 16, "there are ones you can tell their parents did."
Families were also invited to view projects and conduct their own experiments that included making snow and slime during the school's MAD (Make Amazing Discoveries) Scientist's Night.
Karen Stewart, who heads the science department at Rushe Middle, said she was thrilled with the turnout of projects.
"I'm passionate about Science Fair and the opportunity it gives these kids," she said. "Some of these kids will go on to the State Science Fair, where they give scholarships out. These are the kids that are going to cure cancer. These are the kids that are going to cure global warming."