Seventh-grader Angelica Carrero wondered what kind of soda would dissolve a penny. The answer: Pepsi.
Fifth-grader Alyssa Snyder questioned what country's currency would produce the most electricity in a battery. The answer: Mexico.
And seventh-grader Michael Connalley pondered if mint on crackers would affect people's sense of taste. The answer: Yup.
They were among about 750 students from Akron Public Schools to take part in the district's annual Science, Math and Technology Expo and a bridge-building competition on Saturday at North High School.
Twelve high school students and 89 middle school students received gold medals and are eligible to go to the regional competition in March at the University of Akron, according to curriculum learning specialist Katrina Halasa, who organized the event.
This was the first time the event included 21 interactive booths sponsored by colleges and scientific societies that exposed students to possible careers.
''More students from the high school 132 participated in the science fair portion,'' double the number of last year, Halasa said. The science fair is required as part of the curriculum for seventh-graders.
For the high school and middle school students who competed, it was an opportunity to test their science insight against their peers.
With project titles like ''Better Cookies Through Science'' and ''Pampers vs. Pull-Ups,'' some students clearly were curious about everyday life and want careers in science. Angelica, daughter of Mattie Snyder, looks forward to becoming a veterinarian; Michael, son of Minni Connalley, an engineer.
Seventh-grader Tremaine Gray said his experiment about the effects of salt on liquids would not dissuade him from his career choice to be a professional football player or basketball player.