Clipboard in hand, Christian Anderson moved from one science fair project to another Friday, paying careful attention to the details included in each presentation as he judged the projects during Prairieville Middle School’s science fair.

All the while, Anderson, a recent LSU graduate and alumnus of Prairieville Middle who is headed to law school, couldn’t forget that his middle school science fair projects weren’t good enough to “make it to the gym” during his days at the school.

Science teacher Patricia Peno said all Prairieville Middle students are required to work on science fair projects and the top projects in each class are displayed in the gym and judged.

Students use writing and math skills to prepare the cardboard displays, she said.

Anderson joined other volunteers Friday as they judged 167 of the top projects from sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.

Projects dealt with everything from how flowers stay fresh to the effects of chemicals on grass. One student looked into the effects of different liquids on the mass of beans, while another studied how different colored lights affect plant growth.

Anderson said he was impressed with the detail and work from the students.

“You can tell they did these projects themselves,” he said.

Mechanical engineer Kevin Labauve and Anderson were judging the physics entries.

“They’re pretty impressive,” Labauve said.

Horticulturist Jonathon Ducote was judging for his fourth year.

He interviewed each of the finalists in the plants category, giving each tips on how to improve their projects.

“You’ve got to encourage them to build on the projects from year to year,” he said.

The first- and second-place winners in each category will compete at the regional science fair Feb. 24 at LSU.

Peno said the science fair, which also featured an evening event so parents could see the final projects, couldn’t take place each year without the help of community volunteers.

“They take the time to come down here to judge and encourage our students and we can’t thank them enough,” Peno said.

Winners in each category included:

Animal Science

Michael Spencer, first

Justin Morrissey, second

Lily Gros, third

Behavioral and Social Science

Beau Cheveallier, first

Maya Fernbach/Alejandra Diaz, second

Ava Blanchard and Mandy Edmonds, a tie for third.


Rebecca Lilly, first

Alle Andry, second

Hannah Hall, third

Cellular and Molecular Biology

Elizabeth Bourgeois, first

Charlie Dowling, second


Audrey Shank, first

Aubrey Gathright, second

Brennen Bradley and Dinah Blount, tie for third.

Computer Science

Savannah Burd, first

Charlie Beam, second

Braxton Hudnall, third

Earth Science

Cooper Jones, first

Jack Roscher, second

Energy and Transportation

Jack Jones, first

Davis Gilder, second

Bentley Fearheiley, third


Leah Brazen, first

Alan O’Donnell, second

Jacob Delaune, third

Environmental Science

Ashley Phillips, first

Grant Weaver, second

Caleb Provencher, third

Medicine and Health

Rylie Buturla, first

Charlie Delaughter, second

Beth Adams, third


Alex Neel, first

Karli Morrison, second

Anna Orihuela, third


Logan Roberts, first

Riley Lawrence, second

Christian Donnelly and Kenyan Tiner, third

Plant Science

Trey Goudeau, first

Decaseaio Plain, second

Kendall Claire Lamont, third.