26288080228 24a512684a k

A total of 260 middle and high school students participated in the 9th annual DMPS Science Fair, held at the Science Center of Iowa, up from 230 just one year ago.

The 10th annual DMPS District Science Fair took over the Science Center of Iowa Thursday night. At first glance, it could have been any of the others. But research revealed some groundbreaking projects. That aspect, too, was in common with all of the previous nine.

For instance:

  • In the midst of a bleak midwinter week, what a ray of sunshine was Merrill 7th grader Carl Tubbs’s exhibit Taking the Sting Out of the Swing, a quest for the sweet spot on the barrel of a baseball bat. Once pinpointed, Carl noted, “the trick is to make contact. I’ll be in the majors this year and some of the pitchers there throw in the 70s.” Good luck – and play ball!
  • Fraternal twins Heather and Jordan Creek, 7th graders at Brody, have felt all their lives that there’s some paranormal connection between them not usually found between siblings. Twin Telepathy sought to empirically prove the existence of a phenomenon they’ve always sensed. Alas, their hypothesis was not borne out by their experiments – yet. Heather suggested that maybe the methodology was flawed. Wait ‘til next year!
  • The high school division is mostly serious business. There were plenty of delves into equine fossils and the most effective ways and means of killing bacteria, among lots of other research foci. But a pair of snickering seniors from Roosevelt/Central Academy took a refreshing, and clever, walk on the lighter side of science.Dadbot detailed Luke Whitman’s and Nathan Bui’s development of an algorithm that simulates the lame but persistent senses of humor typically displayed by fathers. They tapped into a database of “dad jokes” and equipped Dadbot with quips for any situation. “Can I go to the gym?” a kid might ask. “I don’t know, can you?” deadpanned Dadbot. He’s “got a million of ‘em,” give or take. Okay, kidding aside, can AI really replace your dad? “Only in the sense of humor department – maybe,” said Luke.
39449849634 10096ef855 k

In the high school division alone, 67% of the young scientists who presented their work were female.

The Science Fair is sponsored every year by the DMPS Foundation, to the tune so far of nearly $50,000 and impacting 7,000 students. And according to the district’s Science Curriculum Coordinator Adam Puderbaugh, participation numbers continued to climb this year.

“Overall entries were up 51%,” he said, “and the high school division, which wasn’t added until 2014, drew 72 projects. Many of those entrants are partnering with actual research institutions.”

This year’s event had a total of 260 participants, up from 230 a year ago. And at a time when national attention has been given to the relatively low number of young women pursing STEM-related majors in college, that hurdle is being cleared at DMPS. In the high school division, 67% of the exhibitors were female.

More than 40 judges from area think tanks like Dow-DuPont Pioneer, Des Moines University, the US Department of Agriculture and Iowa State University shared the difficult task of sifting the scientists and anointing winners who will advance to the statewide competition.

But somebody’s gotta do it and at the end of the night the results were announced (click here to download a PDF of the results or scroll to the bottom of the page for a list). Winners will go on to the State Science & Technology Fair at Iowa State University next month.

Photos of the 10th annual DMPS Science Fair
10th Annual DMPS Science Fair

Results from the 10th annual DMPS Science Fair



School Name Project Title Division Place
Merrill Alec Fialkov Does brand type matter? Consumer Science 1st
Merrill A’Taurea Dunlap How much sugar is in that? Consumer Science 2nd
Merrill Angel Toluwalase What popcorn pops best? Consumer Science 3rd
Cowles Shreeya Yarlagadda The Effect of Bio-sand Filters on Nitrate and Nitrite Levels in Drinking Water Earth/Environmental Science 1st
Merrill Ian Campbell Nitrate Level-Creek vs River Earth/Environmental Science 2nd
Merrill Cain Campbell Water purification Earth/Environmental Science 3rd
Weeks Zachariah Perry Egg Drop Engineering 1st
Merrill Kathleen Loder Does Music Interfere with How Well 6th Grade Students Learn? Life Science 1st
Merrill Daniel Fialkov Does caffeine affect test taking? Life Science 2nd
Cowles Emma Krambeck How do pepper and salt effect plants? Life Science 3rd
Merrill Maia Kissell Too much of a good thing? (algae growth) Microbiology 1st
Merrill Lydia Smith What household object is the most contaminated with germs? Microbiology 2nd
Cowles Levi Kimsey Death Jump Physical Science 1st
Cowles Bela Perkins Corrosion Physical Science 2nd
Callanan Michael Hodges Acid Corrosion Explosion! Physical Science 3rd


School Name Project Title Division Place
Weeks Andrew Bates What type of oil works best to pop popcorn? Consumer Science 1st
Merrill Maya Lint What brand of toothpaste reduce bacteria? Consumer Science 2nd
Weeks Alyssa Fisher & Kendalynn Locke Tough Stains Consumer Science 3rd
Merrill Megan Heilskov Will plants help filter harmful nitrates water run off? Earth/Environmental Science 1st
Weeks Callie Wicker Water Purification Earth/Environmental Science 2nd
Weeks Alexander Pond Does Heat Affect the Speed of Currents? Earth/Environmental Science 3rd
Merrill Temple Landry Biodegradable Water Capsule Engineering 1st
Brody Adysen Miller & Madison Ruby Fuel Cells Engineering 2nd
Merrill Cooper Michael Effective Storm Drains Engineering 3rd
Merrill Luke Garcia How does exercise and healthy eating affect blood? Life Science 1st
Cowles Zadie Hoff Automatic Word Recognition Life Science 2nd
Merrill Ethan Button Does light affect how many eggs chickens lay? Life Science 3rd
Merrill Celia James What cleaning product kills the most E.coli bacteria? Microbiology 1st
Merrill Arianna Jackson Germs, Germs, Germs Microbiology 2nd
Merrill Ke’Ayla Madison Which food creates the most bacteria in your mouth? Microbiology 3rd
Merrill Carlisle Tubbs Taking the Sting from the Swing Physical Science 1st
Merrill Prior Van Heukelom Chemiluminescence Physical Science 2nd
Weeks Aayailah Huff What shape of car works best? Physical Science 2nd
Cowles Julia Moody Inclined Plane Acceleration Physical Science 3rd


School Name Project Title Division Place
Weeks Esveidy Soto-Soto Liquid vs Powder Consumer Science 1st
Weeks Emma King & Carolina Castillo What Form of Soap Cleans the Best? Consumer Science 2nd
McCombs Katelyn O’Brien Which Nail Polish Lasts the Longest? Consumer Science 3rd
Weeks Priscilla Gallegos Water Filtration Earth/Environmental Science 1st
Merrill Charlotte Byers Which material reduces sound the most? Engineering 1st
Merrill Isaac “Ziggy” Page The Radish and the Radiation Life Science 1st
McCombs Jordan Toelle Music and Its Effects Life Science 2nd
Weeks Genesis Henriquez Which Beverage Increases Your Energy? Life Science 3rd
Merrill Nadia Palmer Got Germs? Microbiology 1st
Merrill Jackson Grant Can you transmit data from a Computer that isn’t connected to the internet? Physical Science 1st
Merrill Ashton Belknap How does car design affect drag? Physical Science 2nd
Merrill Roaa Kordeir Delta Waves Effect on Sleep Cycle Physical Science 3rd


School Name Project Title Division Place
East Ena Marie Guerra Caballero Bubble it up Consumer Science 1st
North Akpobari Godpower Time and Compression Consumer Science 2nd
Central Campus/North Jayda Anaya-Negrete Determining Effectiveness of Chemical vs. Natural Cleaning Products to Rid Staphylococcus aureus bacterium Consumer Science 3rd
North Nayely Velazquez Erosion in Motion Earth/Environmental Science 1st
North Juan Carlos Oropeza Colored Water Temperature in Light Earth/Environmental Science 2nd
Central Campus/ Hoover Skylar Davis Preservation of Fossils from Natural Trap Cave, Wyoming Earth/Environmental Science 3rd
Central Academy/ East David Turner An Evaluation of Algorithms for Stylometric Analysis of Popular Science Articles Engineering 1st
Roosevelt Ben Stone Computer-Generated Geometry Engineering 2nd
Central Academy/ Hoover Kevin Li Making a Better Wikipedia Engineering 3rd
Central Academy/ Roosevelt Rabsa Naseer A proteinaceous comparison of common research model organisms and Homo sapiens Life Science 1st
Central Campus Cecilia Hodson A taphonomic analysis of carnivoran fossils from Natural Trap Cave, Wyoming Life Science 2nd
Hoover Rhiannon Brown & Olivia Proctor The Connection Between Academic Performance and Depression for High School and College Students Life Science 3rd
Central Campus Aditi Jithendra Bacterial Rate of Resistance to Household Cleaning Products Microbiology 1st
Central Campus Chase Johnston Comparing the Effectiveness of Alcoholic Mouthwash and Non-Alcoholic Mouthwash When Applied to Staphylococcus aureus Microbiology 2nd
Central Campus/ North Jennifer Nguyen The effects of mouthwashes on oral bacteria Microbiology 2nd
Central Campus/ East Sandy Le Antibacterial Properties of Tea and Coffee Microbiology 3rd
Hoover Ezra Halter, Jose Rodriguez, Rebekah Bourland,

& Elizabeth Mora Huber

How Urban and Rural Areas Affect the Des Moines River Physical Science 1st
North Aime Mukiza Coke Cola vs. Water vs. Rust Physical Science 2nd
North Cazia Stallings Different liquids effect on Alka Seltzer Physical Science 3rd
Published on