That’s what Ocean Springs High School sophomore Jessica Williams told judges at the state’s regional science fair Wednesday. She was one of 85 Ocean Springs students to enter the competition.
“I moved to the coast from Germany about a year ago, and I’ve become very interested on the impact of salt in the oceans,” Williams explained.
Utilizing geometry and physics, Williams’ research project examined the affect of water location on ocean salinity. Her favorite subject is mathematics.
“When I grow up I want to be a pediatrician,” she said.
Approximately 700 students from George, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, and Stone counties competed in the Mississippi Region VI Science and Engineering Fair Wednesday at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention Center in Biloxi.
Volunteer judge Heidi Forgione, a stay-at-home mother from Ocean Springs, said it was interesting to see the vast variety of topics covered. She was most impressed with a young girls research to determine the cause of bad hair days.
“She was looking to see if she could attribute her bad hair days to weather changes,” said Forgione. “She found a definite correlation between humidity and her hair’s frizzyness.”
Forgione’s fourth and sixth grade children also competed in the regional event. One examined alternative energy sources for the coast and the other looked at differences between organic and store-bought milk.
“I did not judge my own children’s’ projects,” she said jokingly.
Department of Marine Resources official Christine Murrell toured the science fair searching booths to bestow the DMR’s Excellence in Marine Science Award. Murrell explained the special recognition honors the brightest projects that address coastal and marine issues.
“We’re looking for ideas that help solve potential coastal issues,” Murrell said. “It’s very important to have young people involved with marine sciences.”
In addition to Williams’ project, Murrell also took a closer look at Ocean Springs High School freshmen’s Austin Reinke research, which sought to answer what type of fishing lures are best for pond fishing.
“I don’t like to waste my time when fish aren’t biting,” Reinke explained. “It’s more fun when you’re catching fish.”
Reinke, whose favorite subject is science, explained that he tested five different lures for 30 minutes each. He discovered a green beaver tail lure worked best in his neighborhood fishing hole.
“The lure looks like a frog,” said the future engineer. “I think that’s why it worked best.”
Fair director David Sliman said recent rule changes no longer allow students to bring their actual experiment to competition. Instead, students must rely on photos only, he said.
Students compete in numerous categories: behavioral and social sciences, biochemistry, botany, chemistry, Earth space and environmental sciences, engineering, computers, mathematics, medicine and health, microbiology, physics and zoology.
The state science fair returns to Biloxi March 27. Sliman said anyone - with specific expertise in any of the competition categories - wishing to judge at the state level should visit www.sciencefair.usm.edu.
“Without our volunteer judges, we couldn’t have a science fair,” Sliman said.