When looking to relax after a long stressful day, it’s best to avoid rooms painted yellow or red.
At least that’s the conclusion Pulaski Street School sixth-grader Cole Seuling drew from his science project, titled “Don’t Paint the Psych Ward Red.”
The experiment won first place last Thursday at the Riverhead school’s annual science fair, for which hundreds of fifth- and sixth-grade students entered projects in both the demonstration and scientific method categories, which sought to either demonstrate or prove scientific principles.
For Cole’s project, he and a few friends and family members sat in a dark room for several minutes and then were shown one of four colors — red, blue, yellow and green. Their blood pressure was measured before and after the experiment. He found that red and yellow raised his subjects’ blood pressure rates, while colors like blue and green lowered blood pressure.
He displayed the final results with a color-coded graph.
While Cole took top honors in his grade’s scientific method competition, Luke Zuhoski won first place in the same category for fifth-graders.
The two boys will go on to compete in Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Science Fair on May 7. The second place winners, sixth-grader Zachary Bozuhoski and fifth-grader Kenny Rothwell, will compete in the competition as well.
Sixth-grade teacher Linda Wallace said making the projects gives students a deeper understanding of how to formulate and test a hypothesis, which are skills they can use for the rest of their lives.
“It’s an extension of the whole-year process of [studying] the scientific method,” Ms. Wallace said. “The kids get to come up with their own idea and build on it.”
Many of the projects helped students think about science and how it relates to the environment around them.
Endi Figueroa demonstrated his knowledge of the water purification process using carbon, cotton and gravel, and won first place in the demonstration category.
Zachary Bozuhoski took home second place in the scientific method category by testing whether or not a renewable energy source like a piece of fruit can power a light longer than a double A battery.
And what did he learn?
“That limes can power simple electronic devices such as LED lights,” he said.