5.28.2014

Science Fair

It's that time of year when the science fair has rolled into town.  Every May at the kids school the entire month is dedicated to science.  The Pacific Science Center's 'Science on Wheels' visits the school and each class gets to participate in a special experiment/project lined up just for their age group.  The school also holds a special "physics week" which entails a bit of friendly competition.  Last year it was a catapult/trebuchet contest and this year was a self-propelled boat race.  The month of science wraps up with the science fair.

My older son, who is in 3rd grade, is required to enter the fair and grades K-2 is optional with 2nd graders highly encouraged to participate so they learn the process for the next school year.

Both my kids entered.  

The younger, Donx, worked on a very passive experiment but it was perfect for him.  It was basically placing a plant into a box, with a maze rigged within and a hole cut out of the top.  The hypotheses was, even contained in a box with a maze, plants will always grow toward the light.  Yes the plant started to navigate the maze but unfortunately it died.  Death was unexpected and we're unsure if it died to to 1)lack of light, 2)lack of water or 3)improper drainage.  But based on our observations it mostly held up as it did start to grow toward the light.  Yes, Donx was bummed that his plant died but he wan't choked up about it.  But he was stoked that participation meant there was no homework for 2-weeks!  Ugh, kids!

My older son, Big Red, worked with a friend on a project that created biogas.  First of all, my son did 99.9% of the work, his project partner drew the title on the display board and that's it.  But I digress.  The project went off without a hitch and we were all so excited about it.  We filled 2 bottles each with animal poop (from the zoo,from plant eating animals) and some dried plant stuff like stick and sawdust. One of the bottles also included food scraps such as banana peels, coffee grinds, carrots and apple cores.  Each bottle was capped with a balloon.  Within a day bottle #2 that included the food scraps started creating biogas and the balloon slowly inflated.  Everyday there was a little more inflation and we documented it and measured the circumference of the balloon.  Big Red was thrilled with the positive results and couldn't wait to get his display and project documented.  

As a kid I never did enter a science fair which sucks in retrospect because i've actually been having fun working on these projects with my kids.  

Tomorrow night all their hard work will be on display for all their schoolmate's families.

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