BEND, Ore. -

Cole Fuller, an 8th-grader from the Bend Science Station scientific research program, won first place in the Animal Science category before going on to win Best of Fair in the middle school division of this year’s Northwest Science Exposition in Portland. 

Cole spent nearly seven months working on his research project, which was one of 400 projects competing at the state fair on March 22nd.

His project, titled The Many Colors of Pisaster: A Study of the Polymorphic Color Plasticity of the Common Sea Star Pisaster ochraceus, investigated the reason for the variety of colors seen in a particular type of sea star found along the Oregon coast. 

He recorded the color of over 2,600 sea stars as well the food sources available to them at six different sites between Florence and Astoria.

His research indicates that diet has no impact on the color distribution of pisaster ochraceous, a result which contradicts present scientific theories.

While Cole conducts his scientific research at the Bend Science Station, he is student at REALMS.