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FARMINGTON — Terrilyn Lee said she hopes the Farmington Municipal School District Science Fair will broaden her daughter's mind and prepare Brandie Lee, 8, for middle school and high school.

Brandie was one of 270 students who presented nearly 230 projects at the fair this weekend. The Bluffview Elementary School second-grade student and her friend conducted an experiment using magnets.

"I just wanted to try it out," Brandie said as she stood beside her poster board today at the Farmington Civic Center.

Gail Silva, a science teacher and science fair organizer, said the event challenges students to go above and beyond what is generally required in a classroom setting.

"It's an opportunity for them to use everything they've learned in the classroom," she said.

Silva explained that the students are required to write a report on their science experiment, and many experiments also use math skills. After finishing the experiment, the students create a presentation and answer the questions that judges ask. This year's experiments ranged from 8-year-old Landon Cramer investigating the best liquid to use to grow lima beans to an experiment about the concentrations of metals in corn that was irrigated with water from the Animas River following the Gold King Mine spill in August 2015.

Before Brandie could present her project at the district science fair, she had to compete against her classmates at Bluffview Elementary School. When her project took second place at the Bluffview Science Fair, she was able to advance to the district competition.

Brandie is not yet old enough to compete at the San Juan Regional Science and Engineering Fair in March. The top students in fifth grade through high school from the district science fair will advance to the regional fair.

However, many of the younger students were happy just to be able to show their projects at the district competition today

"Getting this far has been really awesome," said Craig Callaway, 9, a third-grade student at Ladera Elementary School.

"I've always been really interested in science," he said.

The science fair allowed Craig to combine his interest in science with his favorite sport — soccer. Craig's experiment focused on the air pressure in soccer balls.

The regional science fair will be held March 10-11 at Piedra Vista High School, 5700 College Blvd. The exhibit hall will be open for the public to view projects from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. March 11.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

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