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(Photo provided)

(Photo provided)

(Birch Tree) – Seventy-one students from Birch Tree Elementary recently participated in the 8th Annual Science Fair. Kindergarten students through fifth grade presented projects to the judges and some of the winners have been on display at Landmark Bank in Birch Tree and Mountain View.

“Students researched science project ideas online and completed the projects with subjects ranging from wildlife management, soil erosion, solar systems, color projects, parachute themes and oil and water, to name a few,” explained Birch Tree Elementary Counselor Paula Renshaw.

Students chose the project and had to report what was used, what they did for the experiment, what they expected to happen and what actually happened. They presented all this information on display boards for the judges.

Projects on display at Landmark Bank in Birch Tree include those from Mikey Hoffman, Reagann Grandstaff and Whitney Meek. Mikey’s project studied erosion effects in three different soil types; grass, debris and dirt and dirt only. His project was the 1st place winner from the 5th grade class. He is the 11-year-old son of Audrey and Michael Hoffman.

Reagann is the 7-year-old daughter of Heather and Brent Grandstaff and her project replicated the action of a volcano erupting. She received 3rd place in the 1st grade class. “I wasn’t sure what would happen when I dropped the alka seltzer in the water,” she said. “But I put the lid on the bottle quickly and ran away from the table just in case it actually blew up.”

The 4th grade project on display in the Birch Tree lobby belongs to Whitney Meek, 10-year-old daughter of Kristy and Ronnie Meek. She searched and found the idea to do a project with the sun and determine what color is the brightest. She used chemical paper and placed her colors over the top of this and left it in the sun. The color that was the brightest white on the chemical after being left in the sun, proved to be the brightest color. The sun through the color on the clear paper caused a chemical reaction to leave a print on the chemical paper. “I really thought it would be purple, but it was red,” she explained. “Purple and blue didn’t even show up on the chemical paper. So they are actually the least bright.”

Projects at Landmark Bank in Mountain View came from Maci Tharp and Matthew Ledgerwood.

Maci’s is in 1st grade and tied for 1st place with her project. She is the 6-year-old daughter of Jeremy and Miranda Tharp. Her project tested the theory that oil and water don’t mix. “I was surprised that they didn’t,” added Maci.

Eleven-year-old Matthew Ledgerwood received 3rd place in the 5th grade project testing parachutes – Does Size Really Matter? “I had a lot of fun with this project,” he said. “After we made the parachutes out of trash bags, I got to get on the ladder and drop each one from over seven feet high and my mom helped time them as they fell. The bigger the parachute the longer it takes to make it to the ground,” he figured out.

“All the students did a great job and really seemed to be involved in the projects,” explained Business Development Officer Katie Bowden with Landmark Bank. “I served as one of the judges and it was a tough job. They put in some extra work with their parents at home to make these projects successful and I’m proud to be able to display their work in the lobbies at Landmark Bank,” she added.

Landmark Bank currently has locations in seven Southern Missouri communities including Birch Tree, Mountain View, West Plains, Willow Springs, Cabool, Houston and Licking. Landmark Bank started in southern Missouri in the early 1900s and over time expanded and opened new banks in Missouri, south central Oklahoma and north central Texas.

Landmark Bank, N.A. with assets of $1.7 billion has 41 locations in 29 different towns company-wide. Complete information about Landmark Bank locations and services can be found at

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