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The American Indian Science and Engineering Societys (AISES) science fair was held in Albuquerque March 27-29 at the convention center. Participating were two sixth-graders from Mountain Elementary School, Morgan Irish and Chance Butler.
They not only participated, but Irish and Butler earned high marks on their projects; they placed high in their division and both won medals.
Students of Native American heritage are eligible to enter into this national competition and to do so must meet exacting standards of scientific rigor prior to the event.
Irish did a project titled, Natures Battery, for which she took the PH and voltage measurements of three different fruits to determine the best variable to produce electricity. Ultimately, she chose lemons as the optimal fruit, and powered her calculator with six lemons, by using a series of circuits. Her project placed second in the nation in her age group within the physics and astronomy division.
Butler did a project titled, How does the Amount of Earth Movement Affect Damage Done by a Tsunami? He created a village within a kiddie pool using dirt, sand and gravel. To conduct the experiment, he raised one end of the pool and then dropped it several times at different levels to determine the levels of damage. He placed third in the nation for his age in the earth science division.
Sponsoring and championing both students was sixth grade classroom and science teacher Mary-Ethel Plotner. Previously from Farmington, she had taken many students through AISES and wanted to do the same Mountain Elementary.
I think it is a good experience for them to have participated in the AISES fair, she said. It is also for them to have met other children from different states with similar interests.
Mountain Elementary School staff encourage students in the future years from elementary, middle and high school levels participate in this exciting event.