Pi Day at the Math and Science Fair
In honor of Pi day, I stopped by the 63rd annual DC Math, Science and Technology fair Saturday to see the next generation of mathematicians and scientists in DC public, charter and private schools.
The gymnasium at McKinley Technology High School was packed with hundreds of nervous teens and pre-teens and their poster board presentations. There were model cars and microscopic images and solar systems concocted with pipe cleaners and colored Styrofoam balls. All the projects were outlined with a hypothesis, procedure, materials, results, and a conclusion.
Students tackled such scientific questions as the effects of music on study, the effects of Prozac on mood, the effects of various kinds of zit creams on acne.
Sixth grader Tyler Jones from Shepherd Elementary School won a blue ribbon from the Geological Society of Washington for exploring how the strength of wind power would change according to the direction of the wind. She modeled a wind turbine with a quaker oats can and a pinwheel and generated wind with her blow dryer.
Stephanie Guzman, a seventh grader from Oyster-Adams Bilingual School, went home with two big trophies for her mathematics project.
She did some impressive research that many parents would probably find very helpful (and not a little discouraging).
What is the best way to save for college?
How much money will a Washington DC seventh grader need to invest this year to be able to afford four years of public college?
Stephanie predicted she would need $30,000.
After making a series of economic and financial predictions (the recession will last 3.5 years; inflation will remain steady), she researched various Certificates of Deposits and college savings plans and created a series of spreadsheets. (After trying to develop her own mathematical formula, she went with the compound interest formula).
In the end she found that her prediction was a lowball estimate. She would need to invest about $60,000 to have enough for college. Her mother, Marianne Scott, says she's not quite there yet.
Maybe with a few more math prizes, she will be a shoo-in for scholarships.
My guess is this will conjure memories for some of you. The closest I ever came to participating in a math and science fair was repeated submissions to the Invention Convention in middle school. My two best creations were the "Long Distance Lightswitch," great for kids who like to stay up reading long past their bed time, and the "Slumber Pack," a bag-and-blanket-in-one, perfect for slumber parties. I don't think I ever took home any trophies, though.
Do you remember your early science or math projects?
Posted by: tomsing | March 17, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: FederalScientistandSTEMEducator | March 17, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: forstonmkjohndavid40 | March 17, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.