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Local Science Fair to Showcase Rocket Power, Bird Behavior and Next Gen Straws

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RIVERSIDE (CNS) - Elementary, junior high and high school students today will be showcasing a host of simple and complex projects -- from a rocket engine composed of household products to next generation straws that are biodegradable -- during the Riverside County Science & Engineering Fair.
   About 500 students from private and public schools throughout the county are slated to take part in the event, which gets underway this morning and concludes Wednesday at the Riverside Convention Center. Top finishers will be eligible for spots at the California State Science Fair, slated for April 29-
30 in Los Angeles.
   According to the county Office of Education, a total of 405 projects
will be presented, covering nearly two dozen subject matter categories, from
microbiology to robotics.
   Fourth-grader Emil Solorio-Coyle from Brookside Elementary School in
Beaumont will present findings that suggest woodpeckers prefer some trees over
others based on the quality of bark.
   Eighth-grader Maddison Chau from Palm Middle School in Moreno Valley
will demonstrate the prospective functionality of an artificial pancreas and
what it could mean to type 1 diabetes patients.
   Eighth-graders Abigail Alvarez, Jonathan Marquez-Leal and Arlene
Rivera from Duke Middle School in Coachella will show how solar-powered
aerators could reduce salinity in the Salton Sea.
   Fourth-grader Sophia Dunn from Laselle Elementary School in Moreno
Valley will unveil three prototype biodegradable straws that could be viable
alternatives to plastic ones, and fifth-grader Amanda Mata from Orange Middle
School in Corona will present her ``Rigatoni Pasta Rocket Engine,'' composed of
household products.
   An awards ceremony recognizing students who scored highest for
projects in each category will be held Wednesday evening.

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