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Nick Vanhecke Claims Grand Prize in Santa Barbara Christian School Science Fair

Eighth-grader will compete again in county science fair later this spring.

Santa Barbara Christian School eighth-grader Nick Vanhecke is no stranger to science fairs. He won a gold medal at last year's county fair and was a 2008 finalist at the state fair.
Santa Barbara Christian School eighth-grader Nick Vanhecke is no stranger to science fairs. He won a gold medal at last year’s county fair and was a 2008 finalist at the state fair. (Lisa Vincent photo)

Nicholas Vanhecke, an eighth-grader at Santa Barbara Christian School, was awarded the Grand Prize in the school’s 2009 Science Fair.

Science projects are not a problem for Nick, who often combines his love for and interest in railroads and engineering to formulate the ideas for his projects. For this year’s project, he wanted to see if he could find an efficient way to use existing rail infrastructure in conjunction with solar panels as an energy source. The idea is to not waste what we already have but to make it more efficient by using a cleaner and renewable source of energy.

Joining Nick as winners in the school’s 2009 Science Fair were seventh-grader Hannah Brett, who placed second, and sixth-grader Meghan Vincent, who placed first. Although the kindergarten through fourth-grade classes do not enter individual projects to the fair, they work on a class project to help them learn scientific methods. This year’s science fair also featured the Santa Barbara Astronomy Club, whose members shared views from their telescopes with students and parents.

Nick received a Gold Medal in the Junior Mechanical Division at the 2008 Santa Barbara County Science Fair and was a finalist in the Aerodynamics/Hydrodynamics category at the 2008 California State Science Fair. He will enter the 2009 county competition in April.

Nick hopes to pursue his interest in engineering at Dos Pueblos High in the fall. He is the son of Lorraine and Vincent Vanhecke of Santa Barbara.

Click here for more information on Santa Barbara Christian School, 3723 Modoc Road.

Lisa Vincent is school secretary at Santa Barbara Christian School.

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