Medlock earns Soybean Challenge win at NW Ark Regional Science, Engineering Fair
By KD Reep
U of A System Division of Agriculture
July 15, 2016
ALMA, Ark. – The winner of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Soybean Challenge is looking ahead to next year’s competition.
Landon Medlock, 14, a freshman at Alma High School, won the Northwest Arkansas Regional Soybean Challenge at the 2016 Central Arkansas Regional Science and Engineering Fair.
Medlock received a $300 cash award at the regional level, which was provided by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. His science project tested the strength of eddy currents in various materials such as a PVC, copper, aluminum and stainless steel tubes. Medlock believes his experiment can be adapted to test the effect of different types of magnetism on plant growth, specifically soybeans.
“I hoped after all the research I did I could win the challenge,” he said. “Winning the regional contest has given me the chance to compete at the state level and present my research and ideas once again.”
Medlock did not know much about Arkansas soybeans before he participated in the challenge. “I knew it was one of the main crops grown in Arkansas and was used in different foods,” he said. “I had heard of edamame because I live close to Mulberry, which known as the edamame capital of the world. But I didn’t know it had anything to do with soybeans.”
Carole Medlock, Landon’s mother, said she and his dad were excited when they learned their son won the Soybean Science Challenge. “From the time Landon found out about the opportunity to compete for this special award, he worked hard to research how his project on magnetism could have an effect on the sustainability of Arkansas soybeans,” Carole Medlock said.
Medlock plans to enter the Soybean Science Challenge again since he will have more opportunities to participate in regional and state science fairs. “After conducting my research this year, I am excited about the possibility of a project next year that would test the effect of different types of magnetism on plant growth, including soybeans.”
Engaging and rewarding students in real-world educational research that supports the Arkansas soybean industry and agricultural sustainability is the goal of the challenge, which opened in 2014 to 9-12 grade Arkansas science students. Students who successfully completed the online course were eligible to have their original soybean-related projects judged at the 2016 ISEF affiliated Arkansas science and engineering fairs.
“The Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge Award program is in its fourth year partnership between the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service and the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board,” said Karen Ballard, developer and director of the Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge Award program at the U of A System Division of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension Service.
“The goal of the Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge is to engage students in ‘real world’ education to support soybean production and agricultural sustainability,” said Shannon Davis, past president of the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. “The program also rewards scientific inquiry and discovery that supports the Arkansas soybean industry.”
For more information on the 2016-2017 Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge, contact Dr. Karen Ballard at 501-671-2086 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on soybeans, visit www.uaex.edu or contact your county extension office.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service