Photos by Emily Buss
Gabe Tullis, 13, works through an optical illusion with two participants. The eighth grader’s Eye Can’t See experiment tested willing participants against popular illusions.
Winona Cotter Junior High School students put their experiments on display Wednesday evening for the annual science fair. Ninety-two seventh and eighth graders asked such questions as, "how do colors affect vision," "why do optical illusions work," and "which bridge can hold the most weight," among many other hypotheses.
First place and overall winner was 13-year-old Nick Beranek who made a model of how Mississippi River wing dams work.
“I didn’t think I was going to be the overall winner, but I’m pretty excited,” the eighth grader said. “The dams are man-made barriers of dolomite and willows that help keep sediment out of the channel.”
Beranek said living near and often playing in the river gave him the idea for his project.
Cotter Junior High science teacher Tammy Drazkowski said 24 students received first place and a spot at the regional championship in March.
“Each student did such a great job,” Drazkowski said. “There will be stiffer competition at regionals, but I am confident these kids will go far.”