St. Mary’s students shine at regional science fair

Staff Writer
Woodford Times
St. Mary’s School sent six students to the Regional Science Fair March 24 at Western Illinois University. They were, from left: Lauren Schmillen, David Kloc, Noah Nichols, Anthony Wessel, Laura Coovert and Savanna Cooling. Schmillen, Nichols and Cooling advanced to the State Science Fair to be held in May at the University of Illinois.

St. Mary’s Grade School qualified three students for the Illinois State Science Fair competition. The students qualified as State Finalists by scoring among the top 20 of all entries at the Regional Science Fair competition held March 24 at Western Illinois University in Macomb.

State finalists from St. Mary’s include:

• Noah Nichols (7th grade), son of Fred and Paula Nichols, was a Gold winner for his entry “Do Video Games Relieve Pain?”

• Savanna Cooling, (7th grade) daughter of Reed and Melinda Cooling, was a Gold winner for her entry “The Effect of Color Illusions on Blood Pressure.”

• Lauren Schmillen (7th grade), daughter of Ken and Regina Schmillen, was a Gold winner for her entry “Comparison of Biofuels.” Lauren was also a recipient of the U.S. Metric Association’s award for best use of the metric system in a project.

The state competition will be held May 5, at the University of Illinois, Assembly Hall, in Champaign. In addition, Nichols, Cooling and Schmillen were also nominated for the prestigious Broadcom National Science Fair competition, to be held next summer in Washington, D.C.

St. Mary’s sent a total of six students to the Regional Science Fair. Students qualified for the Regional competition by receiving “Outstanding” scores during the school’s competition in January. The other regional participants included:

• David Kloc (7th grade), son of Larry and Ann Tiehen Kloc, was a Gold winner for his entry “Comparing Wind Turbine Blade Designs.” David also received a special award from the National Society of Professional Engineers.

• Laura Coovert (8th grade), daughter of Chris and Rebecca Coovert, was a Gold winner for her entry “The Effect of Lightning on Roofing Materials.”

• Anthony Wessel, son of Dennis and Chris Wessel, was a Silver winner for his entry “Catapults.”

“We are very proud of all our regional participants,” said Linda Adams, science teacher at St. Mary’s. “For these students to perform so well, and for a school of our size to advance three students to state, that is quite an honor.”