NPCC hosts annual science fair

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NORTH PLATTE, Neb.-- North Platte Community College hosted its annual Western Regional Science Fair on Thursday afternoon.

"We want kids to think outside of the box," Judy Ritta, who is the Director of the Central Nebraska Area Health Education Center, said. "That's kind of what this is supposed to do."

The students participated in various activities allowing them to look at science in a new light. The kids learned about CPR, dental health and blood clotting. The goal is to get the students interested in science by providing them with a hands-on learning experience.

"Our students want to get in and get their hands dirty," HaLea Messersmith, a middle school teacher in Cozad, explained. "They are kids that like to have hands-on experiences and (the NPCC) campus provides that."

The students also showed off their science projects to a panel of judges. There were 84 projects in total. One student said he spent several months working on his project.

"I started working on my project in December ... and it was really fun doing it," Anthony Schultz, who goes to St. Patrick's Catholic School in North Platte, said. "I had a lot of experience. I had a lot of facts and I found out some stuff that I didn't know before."

The winner of the science fair, in the high school division, is: Sam Aden, who is from Gothenburg. He was followed by Emma Ferguson, Keifer Anderson and Samantha Jack who finished in second, third and fourth place respectively.

The winner of the science fair, in the middle school division, is: Kayla Schilke, who is from Chase County. Rian Good, Bronson Long, Sean Worthman, Elissa Foley and Alyssa Kolbo finished in second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth place respectively.

The winners will compete in the Nebraska Junior Academy of Sciences State Science Fair on April 20, 2017 at Nebraska Wesleyan University.

The eighth grade winners will compete another science meet that will be held at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha this June.