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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Science Fair Projects

Stuey's parsley prior to the experiment

In the Saltonstall household the last couple weeks have been all about science fair projects.  This year the St Mary's Science Fair is more on the 'applied' side of things.  Stuey and Nora had to come up with projects that would prove 'useful' around the house.  So Nora decided to see which type of wood would burn the longest in the fireplace while Stuey chose to examine how best to store parsley in the fridge to keep it from rotting.

In the week before I left for the anthropology meetings in Fairbanks we did all the experiments.  With my help, Nora did controlled burns with each type of wood in our fireplace.  We did one a night in order to start with a cold stove for each wood.  Stuey at my suggestion tried storing parsley in a paper bag, in a plastic bag, wrapped in a paper towel in a plastic bag, and out in the open with no bag at all.  Periodically over the course of 2 weeks he checked on the various clumps of parsley.

Nora learned that Spruce burned the hottest but quickly while alder burned less hot but longer with more coals.  Cottonwood burned slowly with less heat and more smoke.  Stuey learned, 'that you should not leave parsley in the fridge for a month'.  Basically he found that the stuff in plastic bags molded but wilted less than the parsley in paper and in the open.

All last weekend was spent putting together their poster boards.  We went in to the museum and printed pictures and the text that they wrote up at the house.  It was a very involved process and we had to go back to the museum on Sunday to finish up the projects.

On Monday they took the finished products to school and yesterday they presented to the judges.  Today we find out how they did.  I've got my fingers crossed!  Patrick

Nora by the woodpile - which wood works best?

Nora describes the woods in her notes

Putting together the posters Sunday morning at the museum - Thank You Alutiiq Museum!

Nora's finished product on display at St Mary's

Stuey's poses with his poster - mere minutes after interviewing with the judges


  1. Great work, Stuey and Nora! Looking forward to hearing how you did at the science fair!

  2. They're both very impressive story boards I see there in the photos.