Local scientists gather for MSSU Science Fair

JOPLIN, Mo. - Corinne Forgarty is in the 6th grade at St. Peter's Middle School in Joplin. She's been learning about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in health class and it got her to thinking.

"I took six glass cups and I put different types of alcohol in each cup and then, I put an egg in it and see what and I saw what would happen over a four-day period of time," Fogarty explained.

Jay Suarez goes to the same school and his project is in the field of physics determining what size of wheels go the farthest and how to improve traction.

"I did the testing by putting my car behind a piece of tape, turning the back wheel six times, letting the car go and marking with another piece of tape how far it went," said Suarez.

Their science teacher Shannon Bickford says events like the annual MSSU Science Fair give kids from smaller schools the confidence of knowing they can compete with those at schools many times larger.

"They learn how to problem solve, they learn how to research projects, they learn how to carry through their projects follow through do an experiment, plan the whole thing from start to finish, how to hypothesize," Bickford added.

Several MSSU professors serve as judges and some say the quality of the research and its presentation is graduate-school level.  

"So for our graduating seniors, they qualify for a scholarship for one full year at MSSU," explained MSSU professor Dr. Jason Willand. "Our grand prize winner wins an expense-paid trip to the international competition in Los Angeles."

This is the 28th year for the event.

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