Junior presents science project in state science fair


Alyssa Brinza

Junior John Beutz succeeded in a regional science fair for his nuclear fusor, so he entered the state science fair. There, he presented his project and placed in the bronze category.

Elsa Beise, Staff Writer

While many high school students spend their time in clubs and sports, junior John Beutz spent it making a nuclear fusor. Beutz competed in the State Science and Engineering Fair for his science project earlier this year, where he placed in the bronze category along with fifteen other competitors after his success in the regional tournament.

Beutz began this project November 2016. The amount of hours and energy put into this project became evident at the tournament when Beutz was allowed to present it to a panel of judges. “I’d say the entirety of the project is upwards of three hundred hours so far,” Beutz said.

Beutz has been able to look back on his project with a sense of accomplishment because of support from his family and his peers. “Based off of what other people think about it, I think I can feel proud of what I have accomplished,” Beutz said.

The state tournament had more judges than the regional competition, and Beutz only tweaked a few minor parts of his machine from his last competition. “I presented the exact same device with the exact same data as before with a little more details. I presented to more judges and the event took longer [than regionals]. I presented in the physical energy category and talked to a lot of judges about careers,” Beutz said.

His nuclear fusor was one of his many projects he has taken upon himself. Throughout this past year, Beutz created other fusors, which were smaller than his tournament entry. These smaller fusors have added to his knowledge and physics passion.

Physics is a topic that interests Beutz, so he is very invested in it. “I enjoy bringing the theoretical physics down to earth in a way that has the reality of a woodworking or metalworking project. I feel joy in physics,” Beutz said.

He sees this sort of science as being a part of his future education and hopes to continue flourishing in that his research. “In college, I am definitely going to study physics with the hopes of a master’s degree. I want to go into a career with something to do with that,” Beutz said.