Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Alex's 2014 Western Nevada Regional Science Fair Project Submission



Song:  The Aviators

Artist:  Helen Jane Long





This is from the Western Nevada Regional Science and Engineering Fair's
Facebook Page.

This picture was from last year's event.

Today, after I picked up Alex from school...
we headed over to the University of Nevada Reno campus
and submitted his 8th grade science project to this year's 
Western Nevada Regional Science and Engineering fair.


Each middle school may submit up to three entrants per discipline.
Alex's discipline was in the Physical Sciences and he was entered 
in the individual category
(not a group effort).



Alex with his Coral Academy of Science 8th grade Science teacher...
Mr. Wilson.


Alex and his Science teacher in front of his school Science Fair project
(This was his old board.  He has since revised it to emphasize the categories...
as well as to add images and some color).

Although Alex's board was not so graphically interesting 
compared to many of the other projects...
his Science Teacher (Mr. Wilson)...
had seen the potential in Alex's project because of the science
behind his project presentation board...
and as detailed in his findings and report.

He gave some very helpful suggestions as to the presentation...
and he said the project was worthy of competing at the 
Western Nevada Regional Science and Engineering Fair...
and that he would be recommending that it be entered.

I helped Alex revise his board by having him emphasize certain categories...
 add some of his experimental graphs and findings from his original report...
and to add graphics and to deemphasize his mathematical calculations
 on the presentation board.



This is his new presentation board...
and he included his original apparatus for display.


Along with the apparatus he added ways in which it could be improved
through available technology.

He added an explanation from his abstract on to the apparatus:

"This simple machine is a proof of concept.
It is used to demonstrate what is possible with a much more
highly engineered device using carbon nanotubes for the capillaries...
magnetic bearings to cut friction...
a beveled capillary to ease water transition...
and a finely weighted and balanced capillary
which would make a torque providing twisted thread unnecessary."



This is showing his new presentation board on the left panel.
He included far more experimental detail than on his original one...
and the pictures are labeled.


He posed his Question at the top...
and he had emphasized his Hypothesis...
as well as clearly labeling and explaining the categories.

His reemphasized Hypothesis:





The right panel had more of the same...
with one exception.




He had emphasized how his project was not ignoring two basic laws of Physics
(The Law of Conservation of Energy / The First Law of Thermodynamics).

We added cartoon graphics to immediately draw to it, the eyes of the judges...
and those of the spectators, so they would not immediately discount
his project because they might think that such an endeavor would 
be impossible.

Just under the policeman with the outstretched arm...
it states:


It's OK...
No laws broken here!


This simple machine does not violate the 
Law of Conservation of Energy
(as explained in the Conclusion / Abstract)...
as it neither creates energy, nor does it destroy it.
It merely manipulates the materials used to create
a disparity of force in molecular attraction and so...
the ability to take advantage of a natural movement of mass.

This machine also does not violate the 
First Law of Thermodynamics
as this is not a truly isolated machine.
Energy is input from the Sun...
as the Earth's ambient heat is high enough 
to keep water in a liquid state.
Also, felt Gravity is the result 
of the mass of the Earth.


(and then the graphic of a smiley faced policeman).




Alex and I just inside the competition arena.
We had just walked inside with the project.

Do you see anything missing from the apparatus?

Neither did we!

It was fairly windy outside...
and not until we set the project up inside the arena
did we notice that the extraction point
(the product of his whole second experiment)...
was MISSING!



Alex at the Science Project check in point.


Alex had set up his project...
and remained there while I retraced our steps...
in a vain attempt to locate the extraction point of the apparatus.

I went up the stadium stairs looking at each step...
I went through the corridor looking at the ground...
I went outside looking within a 15 foot wide swath...
I looked in the elevators...the whole of our path in the parking garage...
in the car...
NOTHING!


Alex and I leaving...
knowing nothing could be done...
that we would have to hope that the picture on the board of the extraction point
would be sufficient.

Just as we reached the outside...
I remembered how windy it was...
and that the extraction point was relatively light in construction...
so maybe...
YES!!!

Alex and I had walked a ways downwind to find it lying on the walkway!


Alex holding the Extraction Point of his apparatus.

We replaced it on the apparatus board...
and went home.


For the rest of today...
until this evening...
the projects will be submitted and set up
(we had submitted Alex's project fairly early).

The judges will then begin judging and rating...
and the results are supposed to be out tomorrow afternoon sometime.




This was from the Western Nevada Regional Science and Engineering Fair's Web Page.

It was an honor for Alex's project to be considered for this event.

Whatever result comes from it...
at least the judges are from science backgrounds.

As a result...
I am sure the judging will be based upon merit...
with the emphasis on the science aspect of the project...
and will be fair.

We will find out the results late tomorrow.


From this event...
Alex has learned how to structure future science projects for competition.

He will use this project board as an example
of how to present all of his future science projects.














2 comments:

  1. I liked the revisions to the boards. At such a high level of competition, these little touches can make all the difference. It is a good experience for Alex. Glad that his science teacher saw the potential in Alex and his project.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Although Alex hadn't placed, it was a good experience for him. It is over, and now he can finish up another project for school, and he is still practicing hard for the Nationals in May.

    ReplyDelete

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