Science in the genes

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 14, 2008

LIVINGSTON &045; When it comes to science, the England sisters of Demopolis have it in their genes. Rebecca England, a 10th grader at DHS, and sister Rachel, a sixth grader at DMS, both brought home top honors after competing in a regional science competition on March 8.

For older sister Rebecca, being at the top for the West Alabama Science Fair Regional is not unfamiliar. She has placed well at the fair since she began competing in sixth grade. But for younger sister Rachel, this was her first year to be in the spotlight instead of on the sidelines cheering for her sister.

But before long, the familiarity of watching her sister compete calmed her down, allowing her to present her project, which involved the affects of different wavelengths of light on mold production.

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After two weeks of data collecting and many more weeks of planning and preparing, Rachel presented for the first time and walked away with the first place ribbon in the microbiology junior division and later the overall winning ribbon for the junior division. Her win qualifies her to move on to the Alabama Science and Engineering Fair in Huntsville April 3-5.

Rebecca will also move on the ASFEF after her winning project about the effects of Alabama gravitational forces earned her the first place ribbon in the Earth and Space Science Senior Division. She also won an award from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) called &8220;Pulse of Earth&8221; for her work with earth tides.

The project, which was helped along by access to her father, David’s, surveying equipment, took several months of work and nearly a month of data collection to complete.

Her overall win at the regional level qualifies her to competeat the World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga. for the International Science and Engineering Fair May 11-16.

Rebecca said her experience competing in these fairs has not only brought her more knowledge about the field of science, but also some other practical skills.

After watching her sister compete and competing for the first time herself, a little of this enthusiasm seems to have rubbed off on Rachel as well.

Rebecca and Rachel are the daughters of Dan and Ellen England of Demopolis.