Last Wednesday evening (Jan. 30) St. Mary's held their annual science fair in the St. Mary's School auditorium.

Last Wednesday evening (Jan. 30) St. Mary's held their annual science fair in the St. Mary's School auditorium.

There were six projects and nine students participating.

Patti Braulick, coordinator of the St. Mary's Science Fair competition, said these projects take an incredible amount of hard work and dedication. Many of the students begin working on their projects at the beginning of the school year.

Mike Hirsch and Nate Lax are no strangers to the science fair. They have participated since they were in seventh grade and have both earned national and international trips with their projects in the past.

This year's project, "The Effects of Solar Flares on Various Types of Electronic Shielding," was to provide more information on ways to protect electronics from solar flares and other electromagnetic pulses (EMPs).

To perform the experiment they created a device to emit small scale electronic and magnetic field pulses–in essence, a man-made, small scale solar flare.

Having been involved in science fairs for the past five years, Mike said he continues to be involved because each year he finds a greater challenge.

"The places I can go and the influences from across all cultures I've been exposed to at national and international fairs is phenomenal," Mike added.

Alison Drexler and Megan Helget are first year science fair participants. Their project, "Is Age a Measure Of Patience?" tested age groups with a magnetic testing board pattern. What they determined was that the age group between 10-12 year-olds was the most impatient, while the ages of 13-15 year olds was the most patient.

Through their research, they discovered that the age group with the highest brain development was the most patient.

They said they chose this project because of their interest in human behavior.

"We've done a lot of research on human behavior and we wanted to involve the student body and students we interact with on a daily basis," Megan said.

Science Fair participants saw five judges with a combined total of nearly 80 years experience in science fair judging. Braulick said the local fair is excellent preparation for the regional fair to be held Feb. 16 at the MSU campus.

For more photos of the St. Mary's Science Fair visit our Photo Gallery on the website.