One Sanibel School eighth grade student's confidence soared after receiving a medal for her science fair project during the Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis Regional Science & Engineering Fair.
"I got a medal. It was more of a surprise. I didn't think I would win anything," Paris Bender said smiling. "I was interested in science, but I didn't know I could do anything like that, so once I put it all together I thought it was interesting. I was surprised with myself that I could accomplish something like that."
The project came about when Bender sought an easier way to produce light energy. After she learned that lemons were used for batteries for many objects, "Need Batteries?" was born.
"So I decided to see if other citric acid products would work the same," she said. "So I did shampoo with citric acid and laundry detergent."
The project was tested by using a LED lightbulb, a copper penny and a galvanized nail, connecting them all together, to see if it would turn on. The project revealed that it worked better with the shampoo. The laundry detergent, Bender said did not have enough citric acid.
"I learned that there are more ways to produce light than you may think," Bender said of the overall project.
The Edison Fairs Program, STEM competition includes three signature events - Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis Regional Science and Engineering Fair, Thomas A. Edison Festival of Light Regional inventors and Elementary Science Expo.
"It was pretty scary, but it was also fun at the same time," Bender said.
She hopes to return to the fair again next year.