CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- The lemon-powered flashlight and papier-machÃ© volcano were nowhere to be seen Friday afternoon as students set up some of the 625 exhibits at this weekend's Franklin Science and Technology Fair.
Instead, students were setting up displays showing how they were tackling some real-world problems, such as experiments with alternative-energy sources and pollution solutions.
"This is real life," Fannett-Metal High School science teacher Mathern Mellott said of the work his students are doing. Several of the projects from his students looked at energy solutions -- Megan Smith showed that acorns make better ethanol than corn, while Bobbie Myers built a simple device to turn water into hydrogen and oxygen to boost gas mileage dramatically.
Still, there were some projects with less dramatic implications for the future -- which nail polish lasts the longest and the accuracy of the Zodiac being two examples. However, hundreds of students went through the steps of forming a hypothesis, designing an experiment to test it and reaching their own conclusions through the scientific method.