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What did you do for your school science fair project?

Asked at Borders, 700 N.H. on March 9, 2005

Browse the archives

Photo of Micah Hawkinson

“I think mine was regarding evaporation and condensation. It was a very popular project.”

Photo of Darcy Austin

“I built a toothpick bridge for an engineering fair once, and I got second place.”

Photo of Marcus Johnson

“I built a solar-powered car.”

Photo of Rebecca Foster

“I did an experiment on whether salt water freezes faster than tap water. I don’t remember the result, but I got a bad grade on it.”

Comments

grilled_cheese 9 years, 1 month ago

I'm actually going to go judge the science fair this evening. I'm very curious as to what I will see, and how I will be swayed in my judging.

Anyway, I built a mini-dishwasher for my project in the sixth grade. It was awful, but I still got a good grade.

I helped my sister with her project a few years back. It was very hard not to try to hold her hand and fix things and she put them on tilted or left glue finger prints right in the middle. But, in the end, I never crossed the line of doing it for her, even though she whined for me to do it. I think that was the weirdest part, she just assumed someone would do it for her if she whined and procrastinated enough.

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Redneckgal 9 years, 1 month ago

consumer 1 thats so cool. My 15 year old son wants to go to Wyo Tech too. My 18 year old daughter considered it for a little while and then decided try her hand at some office work and see how she likes that. More power to your daughter! I hope she likes it!

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consumer1 9 years, 1 month ago

LJWORLD9999, I posted earlier that I had guided her understanding, but allowed her to make mistakes and then helped her to correct mistakes when she asked. As I do now. She is 16 and loves to make projects in my wood shop. She understands the development of ideas, planning, constructing and finishing. I would say I guided her pretty well. Oh by the way, she also plans on a career as an auto tech. Getting her degree from Wyo Tech. I am very proud of the little girl who achieves by her own merritt. And I am proud to be the single father who raised her.

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Redneckgal 9 years, 1 month ago

LJworld... there is big difference between a little guidence and help and actually doing a project for your kid. As for the weststar exec hell his folks probably hired someone to do it for him.

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LJWORLD9999 9 years, 1 month ago

Actually, Consumer1, the Weststar exec who bilked millions from the public did not "cheat" on his Science Fair Project. It is more probable his parents failed to show him what it takes to make an "excellent" anything. Does a child learn more from spending hours and hours of doing the work alone with little guidence or is it better to show him the various methods and possibilities to make a quality project?

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tell_it_like_it_is 9 years, 1 month ago

Maybe schools should have an adult science fair to run concurently with the kids? Maybe the adults could get the "show off" out of their system? Seriously I can't believe schools let this sort of thing go on. Its a shame.

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ladysilk 9 years, 1 month ago

consumer1, I had the same experience with my kid in the science fair. She has never entered again. She worked so hard and did not win anything. Her project was the study of the eye. She even had a real cow eye on ice. She did her poster by herself so it looked like the work of a 7 year old. She learned so much about the eye and was so proud and then we took it to the fair grounds and she saw the other projects and she just cried and cried.

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consumer1 9 years, 1 month ago

redneckgal. I love your name!! thanks. It is harsh, I wondered the same thing. However if you say anything it makes you look like your just causing trouble. For me I don't mind being a trouble maker, however, some of us know, that we must be cautious with how we behave in front of our children. My daughter saw me that day register my discontent with the organizers, and I did it in a mannor that was respectful but, uneventful. The organizer I spoke with just gave me some lip service about looking into it. Then of course nothing was ever done. Anyway, My daughter got over it, and as i have said she is a strong young woman of high character. So, like one of the other poster's said. A little pain can build a strong person out of her. It has.

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Redneckgal 9 years, 1 month ago

consumer 1 its heart breaking to have your kid go through something like that. Probably worse for mom and dad then the kids sometimes. Schools should have a new rule if they can tell its made by an adult out it goes.

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consumer1 9 years, 1 month ago

Funny, that actually got a chuckle out of me.

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extreme_makeover 9 years, 1 month ago

My science fair project is to demonstrate 'pushing people's buttons.'

Walk up to consumer1 and say, "science fair."

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consumer1 9 years, 1 month ago

tell_it_ like_ it_ is. that is the million dollar question. Wouldn't it be interesting if the LJW would ask this question. Why do you think people cheat? It may be too tough a question to ask.

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Swamphawk 9 years, 1 month ago

O_Bob - How do you get an F on a great project like that?

I did a demonstration on Muscle Wire and its potential uses. I also did a groundwater pollution and filtering demonstration. I didn't get to compete until High School though.

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Carmenilla 9 years, 1 month ago

I remember that my project was on black holes (I made a totally awesome styrofoam model!).

As far as cheating goes, that is not a new thing. Parents were doing it 20 years ago, when I was a kid. Some parents just can't let their kid "fail". Although as I see it, your kid is failing because you won't even let them try to succeed on their own. What a shame!

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tell_it_like_it_is 9 years, 1 month ago

Consumer 1 thats to bad your daughter had that bad experience. My question is what the heck was wrong with those judges? Surely they could tell the projects where made by the parents?

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consumer1 9 years, 1 month ago

O_Bob, thanks for the support. I do believe she learned more from the cheaters, but, Man it sure hurt to see her cry and not understand. She is 16 now and a great kid. I am very proud of the person she is. AND I TRUST HER JUDGEMENT.

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The_Original_Bob 9 years, 1 month ago

Nuclear Fission. I got an F.

Consumer1 - You daughter probably learned more from watching the cheaters than she ever would have building a volcano or solar powered radio. And not in a bad way. Sounds like you let her know cheaters are scum and these kids that cheat will generally get what's coming to them.

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simple_simon 9 years, 1 month ago

Well, Micah, I guess that explains how you became quite the ladies man, huh?!

I mean, let's face it, women get turned on by men who know their stuff about evaporation and condensation!! Unfortunately for me, I discovered that fact just a little too late!

(Dang it! I knew I was wasting my time with that silly ant farm project!!)

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consumer1 9 years, 1 month ago

For those of you who think I am just venting. A friend of my child's mother told me she had an engeneering student building her son's project. Guess which one one? Oh by the way, this science fair was being held at the engeneering hall on campus and some of the judges were this guy's class mates. Cheating what a way of life. which is worse? cheating or denying? In my book they are both character traits I am glad I didn't teach my child. Yes, those kids will be CEO's or successful, but, I promise their person lives will be a mess. I bet the weststar exec who bilked millions from the public (Wittig) cheated on his science fair project and probably won!!!

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consumer1 9 years, 1 month ago

I remember my daughter's science fair, this was the first lesson my daughter ever learned about "NOT PLAYING FAIR". This is really too bad, so many parents are out there teaching their children that honesty does not matter. Teaching them you have to cheat to win. Not all parents, but many of them are actually doing the project for the child. This is sad. The children who actually struggle to build a project by themselves with parental guidence, and you can tell who they are, their projects are the ones that have crooked post, glue all over the board, paint outside of the lines, you know what I am talking about. Then their are the projects that look as if hundreds of dollars were spent on them and they were made by professionals. Please... what a shame, if you are one of those parents, I am sure someone reading this is one of those parents. I just want you to know, yes, my daughter cried and was very upset, because the project that she worked hours and hours on, (by herself) was not even noticed because you (hypothetically You) taught your child it is more important to cheat to win, than to take pride in their work, and develop character that would sustain them through life.

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