Mancos science fair isn't your usual exercise

Student tries to jolt teachers with Vitamin D

Fifth-grader Rianne Galloway shows her great-grandparents, Paul and Vivian Wright, an egg from her Naked Eggs project. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Fifth-grader Rianne Galloway shows her great-grandparents, Paul and Vivian Wright, an egg from her Naked Eggs project.

Vitamin D can combat fatigue, listening to certain music doesn't make you run faster, and stealing will make your heart pound.

These are some of the conclusions Mancos Middle School students drew after completing their science fair projects.

Sixth- through eighth-grade students displayed about 73 competitive science fair projects on Thursday night in the Mancos school cafeteria. Fifth-grade students brought 33 projects to the fair.

A kindergartner's glazed owls and a high school student's competitive robot were among the other projects displayed at the Education Fair, which didn't limit the displays to science.

"We would get so many people come through the door, it was a good time to show people what we were doing," said Adyan Farrar a middle school English teacher.

However, colorful science fair boards dominated the cafeteria.

One enterprising eighth-grader, who overcame her fatigue by taking vitamin D supplements, decided to see if it the same treatment would help her teachers and peers.

Many teens who are absorbed with indoor activities on the computer or the television experience fatigue and other symptoms associated with depression.

"But really they are vitamin D-deficient," said Ashley Cole.

Human skin absorbs sunlight to produce vitamin D. Very few foods contain vitamin D, according to the National Institutes of Health. Fish, cheese, egg yolk and beef liver are some of them.

Cole blood tested all of her subjects, with the help of Southwest Memorial Hospital, to check for vitamin D when her study started at the beginning for school. She was still waiting for the final test results to come back the night of the fair.

But the anecdotal results were very positive.

"Teachers said they weren't fatigued after several weeks of the study," Cole said.

The science fair is optional for eighth-grade students, and they always do a great job, said Kelly Finlay a middle school science teacher.

Those students who progress to the regional level have the opportunity to win cash prizes.

"It's worth their while," she said.

Caleb Yoder explains his project at the Mancos education fair. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Caleb Yoder explains his project at the Mancos education fair.

Saul Arenivas checks out a map project at the Mancos education fair. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Saul Arenivas checks out a map project at the Mancos education fair.