In the waning days of the quarter, after all the excitement of student appreciation week had passed, Pierce College and Student Programs still had plans for yet another event: The Pierce College Puyallup Science Fair.
The science fair was organized to feature the best and brightest scientists of Pierce College, each one ultimately aiming to win the grand prize, Amazon Kindle Touch 3G. Out of this momentous event the winner, Mckay Noll, a senior Running Start student who attends Emerald Ridge displayed the chemical reaction that comes when mixing Diet Coke and Mentos.
As many may know, the combination of these two creates an intense chemical reaction when, on a molecular level, the porous surface of the Mentos helps to catalyze the release of CO2 gas in the soda, nonetheless, the audience was held a few feet back from the explosion, nobody was injured and Noll was in control.
“Chemistry is something I enjoy, I like to do experiments like this with my siblings and saw a poster here for the science fair and decided to enter. I’d like to become an engineer but chemistry is definitely one of my passions,” Noll said.
Noll’s kitchen chemistry swept the competition, not because he was the only contestant but because of his genuine interest in science. Noll also performed a second demonstration he called Elephant toothpaste.
“It was a bit disappointing that there weren’t any other contestants, but maybe if it would have been better if the event was promoted more,” Noll said.
Noll admits that had more people entered they would have perhaps outdone the Coke and Mentos experiment given that he only had about half a week to prepare for it. In the end, Noll’s extra effort won him the grand prize at the 2012 Pierce College science fair.
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