Rafael Munoz didn’t immediately realize that he had taken first place in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Manteca/Lathrop’s Science Fair on Wednesday.
The fourth-grade student at Lincoln School conducted his research project “Sweet as Sugar,” using sugar substitutes against that of the processed white stuff.
“I had (five) volunteers doing the sampling,” said Munoz, who was surprised with the results.
His conclusion: Splenda and Stevia are sweeter than sugar.
For his efforts, Munoz won the Robotics kit along with a trip to San Francisco’s Exploratorium, according to Boys and Girls Clubs program coordinator Todd Marion.
“The judges thought (Rafael’s) project was a real science project,” he said.
Marion opted for conducting this first-ever event held in the gym to use food and other quick-result items.
“I wanted this to be a different Science Fair,” he said. “That meant no rockets.”
Marion selected those willing youngsters in his Ag in Motion program to take part in the science event.
Monique Serbousek’s “The Secret Agent” took second place. The youngster made two different types of lollipops, one batch with corn syrup and the other without.
“The Crystal Killers” by Lincoln School 8th grader Selena Lopez and Sierra High sophomore Trayana Davis claimed the third-place prize. They used crystal samples with seeded strings in their experiment.
Other projects included:
u Adeola Fatusi, who is a fourth-grade student at Sequoia School, sampled three different juice boxes to measure the different amounts of actual juice in each brand.
u Joel Smith of Shasta School and Rogelio Munoz (Rafael Munoz’s twin brother at Lincoln School) used math in “Pick My Card” to figure out card probabilities in a deck of cards. “We didn’t want to cook or bake anything,” Smith said.
u Alicia Rodriguez and Bibiana Tovar, both seniors at Lathrop High, submitted two science projects. “Project Cheesecake” consisted of them whipping up a New York cheesecake and a Chip Ahoy cookie Philly cheesecake. They also used an Xbox video game to simulate their “Distracted Driver” experiment, discovering that those engaged in conversation while driving were less alert than those motoring in a quiet setting.
u Cheyenne Lincoln made two batches in “The Best Cookies” project, discovering that cookie dough immediately cooked came out better than those that sat around.
Organizers are already looking forward to next year’s science fair.