CANTON, Mo. (WGEM) -- You don't have to be a math whiz to understand just how American students rank with the rest of the world in math and science scores.
According to a recent survey of 34 countries, the U.S. students ranked 17th in science and 25th in math.
But educators say a little hands on learning can go a long way, and dozens of tri-state students showed off their science skills Saturday at Culver Stockton College's 54th annual science fair.
Kassie Henry is a Sophomore at Southeastern High School, and as long as she can remember, science classes have always been her best subjects.
"I just love science, its always interesting and you're always learning something new," Henry said.
Henry says one of the biggest reasons why is hands on learning, like the experiment she did involving liquid nitrogen fertilizer on nitrate leaching and corn growth.
"You're doing things with your hands, you're actually learning and creating and just discovering new things," Henry said.
And professors at Culver Stockton College say it's hands on learning that helps students best understand what they're studying.
"That's what really makes it click for some students and keeps their interests going," said Dr. Lauren Schellenberger, Chairperson of Culver Stockton's Natural and Mathematical Sciences Department.
The proof is in Culver Stockton's students, professors say a lot of the students they see at the Science Fair end up pursuing science related careers.
"We do end up seeing a lot of students who we first take part in the science fair come to Culver," Dr. Schellenberger said.
And for students like Henry, science is likely in her future.
"I would like to become a pediatrician, maybe because I really like children and helping out and I really like all the medical aspects," Henry said.
This year's science fair hosted more than 100 students from schools throughout Missouri, Illinois and Iowa.
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