Monday, January 21, 2013

The Science Fair Project

Grandson Zachary had a science project to do over his Christmas holiday break.  Good thing this was assigned to be completed over the holiday break because it was time consuming.  Zach thought up the project and got the idea approved by his science teacher.  But he needed a bit of assistance to complete the job.  Things had to be ordered online and it also involved several trips to Lowe's and Ace Electronics to obtain all the necessary parts.  Bill volunteered to help.  But Zach did all the work himself under Bill's supervision.

The finished project turned out better than I would have expected from a 12-year-old kid in the 6th grade.  After it was all finished Zach informed me that he will not be graded on this project.  What!!!  All that work and you don't even get a grade!  He said IF the science teacher likes the project then Zach will get to skip his next "benchmark" and will get a 100 automatically.   So I guess that qualifies for a grade.  Sort of. 

Zach, Bill, Trey and Kristina (Zach's dad & mom)

Eating lunch with his best friend Andrew

Since Zach has spent several summers aboard S/V BeBe, he is more familiar with electricity and more aware of power consumption than most kids his age.  He chose as a science fair project to do an experiment to determine which type of light bulb would be most efficient for automobiles and for homes.  It got pretty involved.  Results were that the xenon bulbs are the brightest but the LED bulbs are the most economically efficient, i.e., produce the brightest light for the least cost.

Last Saturday the Houston Independent School District held the Science Fair at a high school in the Fifth Ward.  Not the greatest part of town but at least this was a daytime function so we weren't out there after dark.  
Zach won 1st place for his category!  
He had no doubt that he would win 1st place.  The awards for the 6th grade categories were last to be handed out.  At one point during the high school presentations he turned to me and said, "I am going to be the last one to get his trophy."  And, sure enough, he was.
5 students from Pershing Middle School won trophies

This was my favorite project at the science fair.  It did not win any prizes so guess the judges did not share the sense of humor.  They favored the serious projects.  After all, it was a science fair and science is not a humorous topic.  Never did find out if this project was done by a girl or if a brother took his sister's Barbie dolls and destroyed them doing this project.  Result:  Yes, gravity hurts!

That day we also visited granddaughter Elisabeth's school for a seminar called "Technology for Older Adults" which was a required component of her participation in the Lego Robotics competition.  We had no questions because Bill is very tech-savvy and I am no longer interested in any of it.  Didn't have the camera with us, but here is a phone photo of BeBe watching the Powerpoint presentation the kids had prepared for us old folks.

And what do science teachers do while their students receive awards for their hard work?  Play Angry Birds on their phones.

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