WAEF honors exceptional young minds at Mid-Columbia Science Fair

Wenatchee, Wash . . . Young minds querying subjects such as "What effect will interfering agents have on the crystallization of lollipops?"; "Which solar oven will generate the most watts?"; What is the effect of citric acid on the browning of apples?" assembled in Kennewick for the annual Mid-Columbia Regional Science and Engineering Fair on March 8th to showcase their scientific prowess. Ten 6th-8th grade students were recognized by the Washington Apple Education Foundation (WAEF) for their project entries in the Food and Agriculture category with certificates of achievement and $40 book store gift cards. There were a total of 293 projects presented overall in the Food and Agriculture category.

Sue Graf, Process Development Scientist at Tree Top, Inc., and John Baranowski, Ph. D., Tree Top, Inc. Corporate Technical Service Manager, judged the contest. "It was another big year at the science fair. The kids are always a delight to talk with about their projects. Project topics range from storage and preservation of apples to surveys of enzymes that act as antioxidants, and of course lots of plant growth studies. These types of projects provide students an opportunity to investigate as they start to ask their own questions about how and why things happen around them," stated Baranowski.

The 2012 Mid-Columbia Science Fair Food & Agriculture Category honorable mention recipients are Allison Davis from Harrison Middle School in Sunnyside; Anneka Walton from Chief Joseph Middle School in Richland; Haley Coleman and Naveena Bontha from Enterprise Middle School in Richland; Molly Wireman, Kassidy Weber and Nathan Lipton from Carmichael Middle School in Richland; Emma Lascar and Elise Knudson from West Valley Middle School in Yakima and Jenna Russell from Desert Hills Middle School in Kennewick.

Sponsors of the Mid-Columbia Science Fair Food & Agriculture awards include Graham Packaging Company, G. S. Long Company, Larson Fruit Company, Lewis & Clark I.F.T., Puget Sound Institute of Technology, Tree Top, Inc., Valley Research, Yakima Pomological Club and International Paper.

The Washington Apple Education Foundation fosters educational opportunities, encourages academic excellence and promotes awareness of the values of Washington's tree fruit industry. For more information, contact WAEF at (509) 663-7713 or www.waef.org.