LAYTON -- Paintball turned into a science fair project, along with soda pop, plants, germs, cleaners, music and soil.
More than 400 students, along with parents, judges and teachers converged for the Davis School District Science Fair at the Davis Conference Center in Layton on Tuesday.
Miranda Gyte, a senior at Clearfield High School and a paintballer since age 11, turned her interest into finding out if temperature affects velocity.
She found that temperature does not have an impact on velocity when the fuel source is compressed air, but when the fuel source is carbon dioxide, temperatures do play a role.
"When the temperature drops, the velocity starts to decrease," said Miranda, who plans to attend the University of Utah, majoring in psychology, after she graduates.
Rita Stevenson, the district's elementary science supervisor, said the annual event is important because it helps students get excited about science.
"Our scientists and engineers are retiring, and we're not producing enough to fill those positions," Stevenson said. "If we get kids excited about science and technology while they are in grade school, they will stay excited."
Garrett Garcia, a Parkside Elementary sixth-grader, was looking at a book about teeth in his dentist's office and saw a photo of a baby whose teeth had decayed.
"I asked my mother how this happened," Garrett said. "She told me it is called 'bottle mouth.'"
Garrett obtained from his dentist extracted teeth, which were similar in shape and size.
He then placed the teeth in different types of drinks, such as soda pop, grape juice, milk and distilled water.
"The sugar from the drinks forms an acid inside the mouth which then causes the decay," Garrett said.
Rebecca Crandall helped her daughter, Whitney, with her science fair project.
Crandall said when she was studying nursing she took a microbiology class, and they did a project to see how much bacteria grows on surfaces that hands come in contact with on a daily basis.
"I thought it was interesting and suggested it to her," Crandall said.
Whitney, a sixth-grader from Heritage Elementary. said it seemed original and plunged in.
She swabbed household surfaces, such as the toilet seat, telephone, kitchen doorknob and Wii controller, with sterile cotton swabs and placed them in petri dishes that contained agar, a food that bacteria likes, Whitney said.
She then left the petri dishes alone and watched the bacteria grow over a 10-day period.
"The Wii controller was very yucky," Whitney said.
The family consensus is, "We clean it more often," Whitney said.