Budding scientists

NB students will take science project to world expo in Texas

The effect of household chemicals on household plants. The potential impacts of ocean acidification on the shells of bivalve mollusks.

These are just a few of the ecology-based projects young Oregon scientists defended Saturday afternoon, during the Southwestern Oregon Regional Science Expo.

Among them, North Bend High Schoolers Jovian Davis, 14, Laura LaGesse, 15, and Elizabeth Sevier, 15, already have a guaranteed trip to Houston to compete in an international science fair.

The girls spent about a month determining whether ocean acidification is causing sea water to be more corrosive. They tested empty shells in two seawater solutions — one acidified with white vinegar, the other based off a typical ocean pH, Jovian said. They soaked the shells in mason jars for 30 days. Showing an example of razor clam shells soaked in vinegar the night before, the shells had nearly disintegrated. The girls said that acidification in ocean waters due to the absorption of carbon pollution. They explained that high levels can impact plankton and other creatures, and therefore disrupt the food web, Laura said.

“We wanted to do an experiment that impacted the area where we lived and impacted the people around us,” Laura said.

The three scientists will head to Texas to compete in the International Sustainable World Project Olympiad.

Jessica Musicar, The World, 15 March 2010. Full article.

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