CHINA SPRING, Texas – Science is very important to China Spring Middle Schooler Madeline Mack. She has spent the last three years working on an experiment to create a healthy and natural meat preservative.
“I’ve always been interested in science since I was really little. And I think as soon as I met science fair, as you said in sixth grade, it just clicked and it was awesome,” Mack said.
At last years science fair, she tested different oils to see which would preserve the meat best. Mack said olive oil won because of the oleic acid.
That science project earned her 1st place in her category at the state science fair last year.
This year, she is trying to take it a step further by adding methyl hydroxy chalcone to her preservative. But, that comes with a price tag.
“Even as a child at a young age, it’s very important to apply what I’m learning and try to create something out of my knowledge that can possibly benefit other people,” Mack said.
Rachel Stolle coordinates the science fair for the district and says Madeleine is self driven.
“With just a little bit of guidance and a little bit of, hey, have you considered type conversations? She really takes it and runs with it,” Stolle said.
Stolle says their science fair program is very strong. Last year, all the students placed at regionals, and for the first time in China Spring Middle School history, a student won his entire division at state.
“That’s the goal of any teacher,” Stolle said. “We want our students to get to the point to where they’re problem solving and thinking on their own. That way, they’re giving back to their community; they’re giving back to the world.
Madeleine’s end goal is to come up with a preservative that will ultimately help people — to pay back those who helped her throughout her learning process.
“It just makes sense to feed into a young person who’s really wanting to address issues like this that most kids her age aren’t even considering.”