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Molly Reeves – 2019 Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge Award Winner Northwest Arkansas Regional Science and Engineering Fair

Molly Reeves, age 16, a junior at Alma High School in Alma is the winner of the Soybean Science Challenge at the 2019 science fair held at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville on March 4.

Molly Reeves, Alma High School, Alma

Teacher: Tiffany Schrivner

Category: Earth and Planetary Sciences


Because of the interesting finds from last year’s experiment, I decided to continue my research further. This year’s experiment I collected three different soil types being Sandy Loam, Sandy Silt, and Clay from farms that were from the University of Arkansas Agriculture Center in Kibler, Arkansas. I had three groups: Control (A), Bacillus subtilis (B), and Acidophilus (C). Within each group I had five pots of each soil type. I planted the soybeans and waited until 75 percent had germinated to start testing. I measured and watered the control and two supplement groups every other day for 8 weeks. I found that Group B (Bacillus subtilis) had the healthiest plants out of all the groups with an average of 46.38 cm tall, but Group B Site 1 (Bacillus subtilis in Sandy Loam) did the best with an average of 47.71 cm. I also measured their root growth after the 8 weeks by breaking and washing away all the excess dirt and Group C had the longest roots with an average of 16.29 cm but Group B had the healthiest due to the thickness of the branch roots but was close to the length of Group C with being 16.15 cm.


Molly Reeves wins 2019 Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge Award at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Science and Engineering Fair

Molly Reeves, age 16, a junior at Alma High School in Alma won the Soybean Science Challenge at the 2019 science fair held at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville on March 11.

At the awards ceremony, Reeves received a $300 cash award provided by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board at the awards ceremony. Her science project titled “Grow like a pro with probiotics phase III” also won first place in Earth and Planetary Sciences, the NASA Earth System Science Award and the Regeneron Science Talent Search Award.

Reeves competed at the Arkansas State Science and Engineering Fair March 29. Tiffany Schrivner, Reeve’s teacher, won the $200 Soybean Science Challenge Teacher Mentor Award. Schrivner stated that the Soybean Science Challenge is a great way to learn about the science behind soybeans and how important they are to our economy. “They touch many areas of our world that my students were not previously aware’” she said.

Reeves was excited and thankful she won the 2019 Soybean Science Challenge. “My goal is to win it for a third time next year!” she stated.

Robert and Vicky Limbocker, Molly’s parents, were very happy to see her receive the award. “She spent a lot of time on this year’s experiment collecting data and we enjoyed seeing that hard work pay off for her,” they replied.

The Limbockers also expounded upon Molly’s knack for science. “She has always been a curious person, always asking questions and wanting to know how and why things work so when she started doing science experiments for school we were not surprised when she chose a topic or a question to answer that was above and beyond,” they explained. Schrivner, Molly’s teacher, agreed. “Molly is in my chemistry class. She was not required to do science fair but she wanted to continue her previous soybean research. She has learned so much about the scientific process of growing plants, collecting data, and drawing a conclusion by doing a Soybean Science Challenge project,” she stated.

“The Soybean Science Challenge provides an opportunity for Arkansas High School students to participate in scientific research that can impact the State of Arkansas as well as the world. Soybean Science Challenge student researchers learn about this important commodity crop and its many uses including feeding the world, development of biofuels and sustainable products. The Soybean Science Challenge helps students develop an understanding of the challenges and complexities of modern farming,” said Dr. Julie Robinson, Assistant Professor and director of the program.

“The goal of the Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge is to engage students in “real world” education to support soybean production and agricultural sustainability,” said Gary Sitzer, a member of the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. “The program also rewards scientific inquiry and discovery that supports the Arkansas Soybean Industry.”

The Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge was launched in January 2014 to 9-12th grade science students. Students who successfully completed the online course were eligible to have their original soybean-related research projects judged at the 2019 ISEF-affiliated Arkansas Science and Engineering Fairs.

Information on the 2019-2020 Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge will be available in summer 2019. For more information, contact Dr. Julie Robinson at or Diedre Young at

The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

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