David Rodriguez, resident of Pepperell and student at the Academy of Notre Dame in Tyngsboro, won honorable mention at the Region IV Middle School Science and Engineering Fair (MSSEF) for his research project, "Slime Mold -- Brainless but Thinking."

The MSSEF features approximately 200 projects of seventh- and eighth-grade students who were chosen by their schools to compete in the Region IV fair, which represents middle schools throughout northeastern Massachusetts. Each regional event serves as a qualifying competition for the Massachusetts State Science Fair to be held at the Worcester Technical High School on June 14.

Rodriguez' experiment studied the seeming intelligence of slime mold, by examining how the organism makes more efficient networks to better food sources.

Rodriguez was one of 40 students whose experiments were chosen to represent Region IV. He is joined by his classmate, Max Stevers of Lowell, to continue on to the state finals, where approximately 300 projects compete to win top prizes and represent Massachusetts at the national competition.

"I respect all the people who went to regionals," said Rodriguez. "I can't believe I was chosen to go to state. I'm glad Max is going too. He really deserves it."

Stevers' experiment looks at the composition and environmental effects of microbeads in soaps.

For information on the Massachusetts science fair, visit massscifair.com.