bacteria found on several of the blush, eye and lip stick brushes.
"I'm so disgusted," Teny said, sans the blush she usually wears.
"I'm not going to wear makeup for a while."
Her display was just one of 73 projects dealing with chemistry,
life science and physics at the annual fair.
In addition to discovering the horrors that lurk in their makeup
drawers, students entered projects that offered insight into creating
hovercraft, testing plant growth under different types of light,
powering miniature engines with heat and testing the strength of
Judges perused the aisles of projects Tuesday, trying to determine
which 13 of the science experiments they will choose to display at
the Los Angeles County Fair in September.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory research scientist Paul Chodas
remembered back to the days when he would enter his science projects
in similar fairs.
"Different kids learn different things with projects like this,"
he said. "For some, they learn the scientific process -- hypothesis,
experiment, conclusion -- and for other kids, its about the idea of
researching something in depth."
For eighth-grader Michael Wolf, science experiments are about
having fun. He built a crude hovercraft out of a lawn chair, leaf
blower, plywood and other materials. The noisy machine succeeded in
lifting him off of the floor a few inches.
"This sounded much more fun than testing people's blood sugar
level every hour," he said.
Some projects had more practical applications. Michael Stanton
tested the efficacy of the Sterling Engine, a heat-powered engine
invented in 1816. The clean-burning machine replaced the steam engine
in factories. Today, the engine is used in some submarines, Michael
"I found out that these types of machines can save money and
produce less pollution," he said.
The winners of the science fair will be announced today, said
Midge Kimble, middle school director and organizer of the fair.
"I have been doing this for 14 years at this school," she said.
"The kids came up with some really unique projects this time."
* ROBERT CHACON covers La Canada Flintridge and La Crescenta. He
may be reached at (818) 637-3239 or by e-mail at