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Clever minds, clever projects at Clay County Science Fair

Students impress judges with remarkable, innovative projects

Posted 2/8/24

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Engineer and volunteer judge Ray Morin seemed enthralled with a project by Ridgeview High junior Angel Zheng.

So young to be so clever, Zheng was comfortable answering …

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Clever minds, clever projects at Clay County Science Fair

Students impress judges with remarkable, innovative projects


Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Engineer and volunteer judge Ray Morin seemed enthralled with a project by Ridgeview High junior Angel Zheng.

So young to be so clever, Zheng was comfortable answering questions from a man who’d spent a career making difficult things seem easy, and it took a professional problem-solver to understand the complexities of Zheng’s work.

Her project was called: “Waterproofing and Experimentation of Servo Motors: Obstructing Water Intrusion in the SG90 Servo Motor and Muizei 25KG Servo Motor in Submarine Robotics Needing to Achieve Angles of 90 (degrees), 180 (degrees) and 270 (degrees) While Utilizing Programming Language C and the Arduino Programming Integrated Development Environment Running on a Raspberry Pi.”

Gone are the days of baking soda and vinegar volcanoes.

Last Tuesday, an array of ingenious projects was proudly presented at the Rotary Club Clay County Science Fair at the fairgrounds. Nearly 140 students presented 100 projects, turning the exhibition hall into a massive think tank.

Peaceful Price, a freshman at Ridgeview, created a mechanism that can turn fidgety finger movements into electric energy.

“If you like fidgeting with a pipe here or any of these fidget mechanisms, there is an energy converter and rudder that would have that electric energy run to this battery where it can be stored and charged,” she said.

Her classmate, Zaria Jamison, studied the benefits and drawbacks of using solar power. She created a solar-powered oven and compared the differences between battery- and solar-powered lights.

“I basically had a discussion with my grandparents. Their house runs solely off of solar panels,” she said. “So, I collected data about that. My conclusion was that solar panels are more efficient in the long run and they’re efficient because, eventually, they pay for themselves since you don’t have to pay for the energy. But in the beginning, it’s a really high cost in the beginning. So, it’s a big commitment.”

She also said battery-powered landscaping lights are brighter but more costly because the batteries have to be replaced every six months.

She also said the solar ovens worked but took twice as long as a conventional oven.

Judges met during a lunch break to tackle the challenging task of determining the winning projects. Winners will be announced on Thursday, Feb. 15.