LONG?BEACH - If the experiment was to see whether school kids would put their hands inside when presented with a bucket of pink-colored goop - call it a success (ABOVE).

This hands-on experiment on how cornstarch reacts to water was one of several colorful and creative endeavors displayed by Long Beach School students Thursday afternoon during the school's annual science fair.

From the number of them on hand it may have been a safe bet that the classic science fair experiment - the carbonated volcano (AT?RIGHT) - was this year's big hit. Several students put together mountains of varying sizes, filled them with the necessary ingredients and then added water. No matter how many times the kids watched the "eruption," it never seemed to get old.

From catapults to solar systems, syphons to amphibians and beyond, the judges - several students from Ilwaco High School - made the rounds from kindergarten to sixth grade classes, taking notes, asking questions and awarding ribbons.

And while many experiments tended toward the gross or bizarre, others were a test in beauty, like those who changed the color of flowers by adding coloring to their water.

And while not everyone took home a ribbon, all could claim an entertaining success, if not a scientific one.

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