Until recently, Glenn Treadwell Jr. had never tried the human gyroscope at the National Science Center's Fort Discovery.
"I've always liked science, and I will help anyone with a project," said Treadwell, of Grovetown, after seeing Ethan Mancil's sign-up sheet for his middle school science fair project.
The Salisbury, N.C., sixth-grader spent part of Jan. 13 at the science center testing whether a one-minute ride on the exhibit affected the participant's heart rate. Before and after the ride, pulses were checked.
Treadwell's heart rate did increase after his ride.
"It was a fun little ride," he said.
The Mancil family has visited the science center several times. Ethan's father, Dr. Gary Mancil, is an eye doctor at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salisbury, and his mother, Ricki, is a researcher there.
Mancil's parents live in Waycross, Ga., and Augusta is about halfway between Ethan's house and his grandparents, which makes it a great place to visit, the doctor said.
"This place is really cool," said Ethan, who doesn't get to visit it as often as he'd like.
Most of Ethan's test subjects showed an increase in their heart rate - how much of an increase depended on various factors, including how much effort the participant put into forcing the large wheel to go around, he said.
Ethan took the test first, and his heart rate slightly increased.
"Ethan was excited to begin with," Mancil said.
He has until Feb. 2 to interpret his data and create his presentation for the science fair at Erwin Middle School.
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