Stott Sphere

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Science Fair February 12, 2009

Filed under: Daily Life — Jen @ 12:43 pm

I hate science fair.  And, I feel a little guilty about that.  I shouldn’t hate it… after all, I love what it’s about, I think it’s a great experience for the kids, but I just don’t love being involved in it. 

Ryan said his participation in science fair was mandatory, on account of him being in 6th grade and all.  He chose to do “How Airplanes Fly.” 

How Airplanes Fly

How Airplanes Fly

I thought it was a pretty fun idea, but it took quite a bit of research.  And, since Ryan is not great yet at doing online research, or at typing or using programs like MS Word or Publisher, he got a great deal of help from me.  He was really pleased with the finished product though.  We took a fan to the school and made a paper “wing” to demonstrate how the shape of the wing gives it lift when air is blown over the top. 

Quinn did his project together with his buddy, Kyle.  The real problem here is that the 2 of them cannot be serious for an entire minute straight when they are together.  They did a lot more laughing and goofing off than working on their project.  Kyle was pretty determined to do a project about whether salt water or fresh water has greater erosion on rocks.  The research suggested that this would be very difficult to measure, so I had to do some fast talking to talk them out of that.  I sold them on a project about how elevators work.

How Elevators Work

How Elevators Work

Robb helped them make this mock-up of an elevator using some nails and spools of thread for pulleys, a small gift box for an elevator car, and some larger washers for a counterweight.  They each typed up their own paperwork to paste on the board, and when they got together we discovered their papers were amazingly similar.  I don’t think it will be the best one on their row or anything, but they had fun doing it.

Brooklyn was the child with the really interesting project this year.  And I’m only saying that because her mother is NOT a science type of person.  The original idea for her project was to make spinning wheels.  We were going to make stripes of color, like blue and yellow, on a wheel, so that when you spin the wheel you would see green.  Only it didn’t work.  We worked on it for a while, tried to figure out the best way to get the wheels spinning really fast, and discovered that we saw nothing resembling green whatsoever.  I felt pretty cool about my ability to do a 2nd grade science project, let me tell you.


So, we started from scratch.  I got the idea for this project from a friend, and I have to say, it saved our butts.  We bought some plain white daisies and put them in colored water.  The flowers soaked up the food coloring, and the petals changed color.  As it turned out, she was not the only one doing this project, but I think that’s okay.  She loved looking at her flowers, and I let her snap some pictures of them to put on her display board.  We bought some little vials from the florist, so we wouldn’t have to take cupfulls of water to school.  That turned out to be a brilliant idea.  (again, thanks to RuthAnn!)  Oh, and you might recognize the cup she is holding in the picture as the one from her picnic set that I spoke about in the last post.  It was the perfect size and looked cute with the colored daisies in it.

I was always a Reflections person, myself.  I never had any interest in science fair.  I’m more into poetry and music, and that sort of thing.  Robb, on the other hand, has fond memories of science fair.  Mostly, it turns out, about how hard it was to make the poster look nice.  We felt pretty spoiled at having my mom bring her Cricut machine to cut out the cute letters, and her sticker-maker to stick them on without glue!  Robb told us several stories involving rubber cement, rulers, scissors, stencils, and construction paper.  Oh, those were the days!


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