EMPIRE, OK (KSWO) - The number of licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, which type bread forms mold the fastest and which brand of paper towels are the most absorbent - Those are just some of the questions students dove into Wednesday at the Empire Elementary School Science Fair.
Each year, the 5th-grade class spends a few weeks putting their scientific skills to the test. They come up with a hypothesis, run an experiment to solve their problems and present their findings to a team of judges. The students can do their projects on anything they want and since it's 5th graders you know they're getting their ideas from some entertaining places.
Carson Skiles put his scientific mind to the test in hopes of finding the answer to the age-old question, how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.
"Because of the commercial, it was just so funny. The boy goes up to the smart owl and goes mister owl, how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop. The owl says let's find out. One, Two, Three, crunch," Skiles said.
Skiles's in-depth project featured a power window battery for a truck, magnets and, of course, tootsie pops. He said he wasn't able to figure out an exact number of licks it takes to reach the center of a Tootsie Pop, but says he had lots of fun with his project along the way.
"This is way more fun because you get to spend time with your parents and you get to work at home and not just sit around and play video games. I feel like I learned a lot. Before this, I didn't know what a battery charger did or a speed controller or all thread is," Skiles said.
The same rings true for 5th grader Daniel Seely, who did an experiment to see what kind of effect different food acids have on eggshells.
"It was really fun because you can feel them, we'd take them out and see how much they weighed each day, it was really fun," Seely said.
Seely said he has put a lot of work into his project over the last few weeks, both at home and in the classroom.
"I like doing it instead of like doing worksheets. We can do science and you can learn about different kinds of things," Seely said.
The 5th grade class at Empire has been doing these projects for several years. Their teacher Cashe Turner said the students truly enjoy this hands-on activity.
"Seeing my students come through this whole process and the things they learn from it is one of the most amazing things to watch. To see their light bulbs come on, to see them know why something happened, to understand that why. The neat part for that is reading their conclusions because it shows me everything they've learned through that and their experience with it," Turner said.