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STEM Action Center hosts sixth annual Eastern Idaho Science & Engineering Fair

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) – The work of our student scientists was on full display in Pocatello. 

The Stem Action Center hosted its sixth annual Eastern Idaho Science & Engineering Fair on the Idaho State University campus. 

More than sixty students displayed their projects in four different categories of science.

The event offered students the opportunity to show off research projects that sparked their interest. 

"STEM jobs are expected to grow in Idaho by 15.4% by 2030," said Idaho STEM Action Center Executive Director Dr. Kaitlin Maguire. "So, it's incredibly important that we start to prime the pipeline, so that we have workers to enter the workforce that we need."

Hagerman High school freshman Danica Knapp says family members with autism motivated her project.

She aimed to determine any correlation between the disorder and being a supertaster. 

"They don't like eating vegetables, and they eat less healthy food," Knapp said. "So we thought that maybe if we do a project on this, this is going to help nutritionists and parents better feed their children."

Skyline High School football player Jacob Demott wanted to learn what was the most efficient kicking technique. 

"It's cool to show what actually goes into kicking a football," Demott said. "Most people think that it's a pretty easy thing to do. But if you look at the data, everything is happening within 1.7 seconds. So, there's a lot to take in within that amount of time."

Other topics ranged from the right welding method, to effects on student's GPA.

"I found that with small sheets of metal, using more drastic welding methods actually ruins the metal completely and causes it to become more brittle and break faster," said Hillcrest High School student Wyatt Going.

"We found that junior girls that don't play sports have the highest GPAs, and that was interesting because we thought that seniors would have the highest GPA," said Bonneville High School student Brooklynn Hammond.

Tannon Bluth and Michael Ditzig launched their own sugar rocket fuel test.

"When I heard about this fair, I was like, we should do what we've been wanting to do in high school for a long time," Bluth said.

With the amount of work and thought that went into each of these projects, Idaho's future is looking bright. 

"Their research is top quality, and the projects that go on to represent Idaho are incredibly complicated and really top notch," Maguire said.

The winning teams will receive an all-expense-paid trip to attend and compete in the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in Atlanta May 7-13. 

Article Topic Follows: Pocatello

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Cole Sams

Cole is a reporter for Local News 8.

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