DHS science fair showcases bright minds

Taylor Sharp, 5, helps DHS senior Hilary Schmidt name the fish in her aquaponics project for her biotechnical engineering class. Sharp, the daughter of DHS teacher Scott Sharp, named one fish after herself. The waste from the the fish in the tank is cycled through a series of tubes and fertilizes the tomato plants growing in pebbles above the tank.

Taylor Sharp, 5, helps DHS senior Hilary Schmidt name the fish in her aquaponics project for her biotechnical engineering class. Sharp, the daughter of DHS teacher Scott Sharp, named one fish after herself. The waste from the the fish in the tank is cycled through a series of tubes and fertilizes the tomato plants growing in pebbles above the tank. by Laura Herring

The commons area of De Soto High School was home to a slew of snakes, a pneumatic cannon capable of firing rounds 53 meters and robotic machines capable of sorting colored marbles, all part of the school's annual science fair. Students from all the DHS science classes, as well as a few students from Mize Elementary, showed their hard work to teachers, parents and community members on Wednesday, April 27.

"It's obvious the kids put a lot of hard work into their projects," said attendee Darla Stevens. "They all seem to know what they're talking about, too."

Knowing what they were talking about was no easy task given the caliber of many of the projects. Students in Scott Sharp's Kansas Natural History class spent the evening caring for live snakes and explaining their habits and behaviors to passers-by, even if the students themselves were terrified of snakes themselves just a few months ago.

"I'm definitely a big-city girl so when I walked in this class and saw a snake I flipped out," said senior Olivea Guzicki, who at the beginning of the year moved to De Soto from Reno, Nev. "I've gotten a lot better and now I think Bones (a class snake) is pretty cute."

High school students weren't the only ones impressing those at the fair. Elementary students from Mize Elementary also showcased projects, which were judged by students from DHS.

"These kids are way too smart," said junior Tiffany Adkins. "I don't think I was anywhere near this smart at their age."

"I think it's really brave of them (the elementary kids) to come present to us," said senior Ryan Thies. "I know I couldn't have spoken to a senior when I was in fifth grade, let alone speak so well about something so difficult."

A full photogallery can be viewed here.

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