Going to the science fair at St. Pius this past Saturday allowed me to see the different projects done by elementary/middle school students. I was in awe at how well and in depth the students were able to go into their projects. Each student created a poster board for their project outlining the different aspects of the scientific method. Many had images and a great variety of visuals explaining the goal and purpose of their lab. On top of that, each student also created a binder explaining the details of their project and providing more in depth answers to the scientific method. Overall, the students went above and beyond in the topics they chose and they analyzed and interpreted their data to draw conclusions. As a judge, I was given a scoring sheet outlining the main criteria that each student should have and scored each project to the best of my ability. At the end of the fair, each judge also chose three projects for “Best Idea,” “Most artistic,” and “Best Overall.” A project that I found very interesting was on pop rocks and the topic was “which liquid makes pop rocks dissolve fastest?” The student hypothesized that soda will cause pop rocks to dissolve the fastest and water the longest mainly from the all-time legend that if you drink pop rocks with soda, your stomach will explode. The materials used were four table spoons (20 mL) of pop rocks, 50 mL of room temperature water, 59 mL of Coca cola, 59 mL of vinegar, and measuring cups. The student began by putting liquid into each glass then dropping one teaspoon of Pop Rocks into each glass one at a time. The timer was then used to see which one dissolved the fastest and/or shortest. When the Pop Rocks were put into the vinegar, they sank to the bottom but when put in Coca Cola, they began to pop loudly. The Coca Cola dissolved the fastest at 13 minutes and 40.35 seconds, but the student found that by putting the Pop Rocks in his or her mouth they dissolved even faster in 3 minutes and 32 seconds. I enjoyed reading this experiment because while growing up, Pop Rocks were my favorite type of candy. Another project that also greatly caught my interest was “Hand Sanitizer vs. Liquid Soap and Water: Who Wins the Bacteria Battle?” The student conducted his/her experiment on agar plates and I found that exciting science students do not use agar plates until high school or even college. This was my third year judging at the St. Pius Science Fair and I was again amazed by the work the students presented. I feel like schools and communities should have more science fairs so that students can showcase their love for science and learning. I could tell that each student put great effort and time in their project. Even though technology has negative effects, the students used technology in a positive way to encourage and promote science.
Watch this inspiration talk given by Diana Nyad. http://www.ted.com/talks/diana_nyad_never_ever_give_up.html
After watching the video, I became very interested to learn more about Diana’s journey. My Mom is a competitive swimmer and I remember her being up to date about Diana’s swim from Cuba to Florida. She would tell my sister and I that Diana persevered and did not give up. Watching the video, I became aware of my own dreams and goals. I have always wanted to be a doctor- a person striving to save others. I know that it is a hard working profession but it is the field that I am so passionate about. Diana mentioned in the video that “life is about journey, not destination” and I came to realize that I have to appreciate all of the positive and negative moments in my journey to reaching my goals. Diana did fail at times but she always got back up and kept going. There have been numerous times where I have doubted my ability to achieve my dream and when thinking of Diana’s story and message, I have to remember that dreams are often scary and big but they are never impossible. I have to remember that I will not always win and there will be times where I will face struggles and will have to pick myself back up and keep moving forward. The talk impacted me in a heartwarming way and reminded me to keep a positive attitude while I continue on my journey to becoming a doctor.