It was a literal ache for knowledge that drove sophomore Cody Jones to design his science project this year.
"I was hungry," he explained. "I wanted to see if I could cook food faster by turning up the heat."
So he put it to the test - the scientific method, to be more precise.
"It does cook faster but the food doesn't taste very good," he concluded. "It burned."
More than 50 projects were on display in Senator Square to be judged on Wednesday as part of Carson High School's annual science fair.
"There are several of them that are really good," said science teacher Julie Koop. "There's a lot of creativity, more variety than I've ever seen before."
Students tested the effect of sunlight, music and cigarette smoke on plants' growth. Another project hypothesized that freshman girls would be the largest population who were on a diet.
However, the conclusion stated that of the 400 students surveyed, 183 of them were dieting and 51 of those on diets were senior girls. More than one-third of the senior girls on diets were using an unhealthy method, including fasting and starvation.
One project concluded that larger sponges absorb more water and another found that Washoe Lake had less than two colonies of fecal coliform per 100 milliliters of water while Rhodes Lane had 153 colonies per milliliter of water.
Izced Garcia, 16, tested the power of Tide laundry detergent against Cheer in removing stains and found Tide worked better.
"Some detergents don't really work like they advertise them," she said.
Freshman Martin Sosa browsed through the fair on his lunch break.
"I think science is really interesting, and it might give me some ideas in case I have to do a project," he said. "If you have a question, it's a good way to find the answer."
The elementary schools will host fairs in February and March.
Winners from each of the schools will advance to the Regional Science Fair on March 11-13 at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Winners at the regional event will go on to the International Competition in Portland, Ore.
Last year, as a Carson High sophomore, Carly Nystrom won first place at the Western Nevada Regional Science Fair then competed internationally.
Contact Teri Vance at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1272.