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Solvay loves science

The state of the environment was a hot topic at the twenty-ninth annual Greater Syracuse Scholastic Science Fair, held Sunday, March 30 at Solvay High School.

The GSSSF, sponsored by Briston-Meyers Squibb Company, Lockheed Martin and MOST, hosted students from more than 30 area schools exhibiting science projects and competing for prizes.

A plethora of displays at the fair addressed environmental concerns, from the effects of acid rain to the effect of global warming on snowfall in New York state.

Julia Sanders, a junior at Syracuse Academy of Science, observed the effects of common household cleaners and chemicals on African Violets. Sanders' exhibit, titled "Pesti-side Effects," displayed the violets and the chemical that was added to each plant.

Sanders said the most surprising result was the deadly affect a popular insect repellant had on a plant. The plants subject to mold and mildew remover, and anti-bacterial multi-surface spray were also killed.

The plant on which Sanders tested the effects of a 'natural', plant-based cleaning solution thrived.

Austin Gamache and Nina Guarjardo, eighth graders at Grant Middle School, recycled a variety of papers to show that recycled paper is practical and usable. They even used some of their recycled paper to create the display board for their project, "Save the Environment by Recycling Paper."

Shantise Galloway, a freshman at Syracuse Academy of Science, used the science fair as an opportunity to learn more about body mass index, after her interest in the subject was piqued in health class. For her "Percent of Body Fat" project, Galloway conducted a survey and found that less than half of the people she interviewed had a clear understanding of how to calculate body mass index and why it is important.

Along the health-related theme, fifth-grader Michelle Capeling from Bridgeport Elementary School tested various surfaces throughout the building to answer the question, "Is My School Making Me Sick?" Capeling found the surfaces with the most bacteria were those most often shared by many people - the classroom telephone and tissue box, cafeteria chair, computer headset and water fountain.

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