MOULTRIE — Two seniors at Colquitt County High School, Spencer Wilson and John Barber, are heading to the International Science and Engineering Fair in San Jose, Calif., May 9 - 14.

They, along with other local students, competed in the Darton-Merck Regional Science Fair, at Darton College, in Albany, Ga., on Feb. 12. Students who won first places in their divisions include Ariel Sasine, senior, who won the Thronateeska Heritage Foundation Award, the U.S. Air Force Best Four Projects Award and a SASCO Chemical Group, Inc. Best Overall Award; and Joshua Hoes, who won the Ricoh Corporation Sustainable Development Award.

“They did really well this year,” said Tommy Hall, Colquitt County High School science teacher.

Wilson, who was awarded the U.S. Air Force Best Four Projects Award, entered a project that explored biomechanically assisting the Sit to Stand (STS) Movement.

“Basically, I engineered a portable device to help the elderly and disabled get out of their chair. That’s basically it in a nutshell,” said Wilson.

He also said that his ultimate goal would be to patent the device and have a prototype ready for mass production in the future. He said their would be representatives from a variety of companies at the fair.

Barber, who also won a SASCO Chemical Group, Inc. Award, explored biomass gasification using kudzu. He said his dad had encouraged him to pursue this project and he had found out about the gasification process through Hall. He said he decided to use the kudzu because it was everywhere.

“Whenever I looked out, there was a lot of it. I wanted to get rid of it ... It’s a nuisance,” Barber said.

He said that when he found out he had won he was jumping up and down screaming because he didn’t expect to win. He said he would run the experiment again before he went to the fair in May.

“I’ll probably tweak a few things,” he said.

This past weekend, Wilson and Ariel Sasine competed in the State Science and Humanities Symposium at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga. They will be competing against 18 other students from around the state.

“It’s basically a speech and Power Point contest and is about as nerve-wracking as anything,” said Sasine.

Students who win at this competition will attend a national symposium.

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