IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Freshman at Idaho Falls High School showed off their science skills Friday at their first ever science fair competition.
Colorful poster boards and impressive projects lined the gym at Idaho Falls High School. Projects ranged from the science of music to tornados in boxes. Students were encouraged to put together a science project that incorporated their lessons in physical science class.
Maddie Pohler took her gymnastics experience and put together a project that looked at the science of balance through acrobatics.
"Trying to keep balance and keep center of mass is complicated," said Pohler.
"It was very open ended but what we really wanted was for them to do something along the lines of physical science. They could put sound in there, they can put fire in there. There are a lot of wonderful projects," said physical science teacher Mitzi Ellingson.
Freshman football players Terrell Payne and his partner Trent Marvin took the helmet they wear on the field and put it to test in the lab.
"For our projects we went and dropped football helmets from different heights. We put an egg inside of a styrofoam ball to simulate the brain and put that inside the helmet and dropped it," said Payne.
Payne and Marvin's project looked at concussions by how the brain reacts to impact.
"The egg broke at almost every height," said Payne.
The boys learned the helmet with the most cushion provided the best protection.
The science fair is no ordinary exhibition, it's a judged competition by community members who work in the field of science.
Michael Hall, a nuclear consultant for Portage Inc., worked with the school to put together the science fair. He is also judging the projects.
"We're not looking for Ph.D level type things, we're looking for things the students can comprehend, they understand the basics and they got excited about their projects. They did the research on their own, they put together a project about something they're interested in," said Hall.
The top 100 projects from IFHS will move onto a city-wide competition on April 19th at University Place in Idaho Falls. The winners of that competition will compete in nationals in Utah in May.
"I always felt like science was cool, but science was only cool to the science geeks, science isn't cool to everybody and so we've got kids from all demographics who are doing this," said Hall.