When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in late October, Kaitlyn Huston decided to research household items that could be used as emergency candles.

“A lot of people lost their power,” Huston said. “I wanted to see what household product would make a candle that would work as well as a real candle.”

The sixth-grader at S.C. Lee Junior High School displayed her project Thursday during the Copperas Cove Independent School District’s third annual district-wide science fair at the Mayborn Planetarium and Space Theater at Central Texas College.

The 42 displays were selected from a total of 1,400 district-wide projects at 10 campuses and showcased students’ understanding of the scientific method.

Kelly Avritt, director of curriculum for the district, was impressed by the students’ hard work. She said she even learned a few things from their research, like how fleece can be made from plastic.

Joey Harrison participated in the fair for the third time and tested which airfoil design works best on the wing of a plane.

The Martin Walker Elementary School fifth-grader said he’s always been interested in engineering and came up with the idea after researching hydrodynamics online.

“It wasn’t easy to do, but it was fun,” Harrison said. “The best part was that it’s applicable to real life.”

Avritt’s favorite part is the learning involved when students realize their hypothesis is wrong.

“Sometimes you learn the most from the things that didn’t go well,” she said. “That really shows the depth of their thinking. It’s just a really great opportunity to show what they’ve learned.”

Hutson concluded lard and Crisco can burn for at least 30 minutes, while crayons only last half that time. Her favorite part was lighting the makeshift candles and waiting for the results.

“It was a whole lot of fun researching,” Huston said. “I liked seeing things that went wrong and thinking about how to fix it.”

Contact Sarah Rafique at srafique@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SarahRafique

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