Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Science Fair

This year Matthew came up with his own idea for the science fair.  He wanted to make bouncy balls using varying amounts of ingredients and test how that affected the bounce.

He studied polymers and wrote a short paper to go with his project; then he got out the glue, cornstarch, water, and food coloring to make a gooey, bouncy mess in my kitchen.

His efforts, and my nagging  reminders to get it done, paid off and his project was one of 17 from his school to make it to the regional science fair.  Yay Matthew!

The regional science fair took place in downtown Austin at the convention center.  They had around 20 school districts, not schools, mind you, school districts, participating so there were a LOT of people.  Parking was a zoo.  All of the children were shuffled into a room with their projects while parents were herded to another enormous room to wait.  And wait.  And wait.

While we waited and noodled on our phones, the judges talked to each kid about their project.  Matthew was so nervous about this part, but I was sure he'd do fine.  After all, he did all the work and research.  He knew what his project was about and that is what the judges were trying to discern, whether the project was done by the kid who knew what he was talking about or with lots of "help" from Mom and Dad.  Child after child returned to the main "parent holding pen" after their projects had been judged, but no Matthew.

Finally after 2 hours, Matthew's name was called out for me to collect him.  He was one of the last kids to be judged.  Awards were to be announced 4 hours later, but we decided to break for donuts and go home instead of finding out the results.  This decision was heavily influenced by me being 9 months pregnant and dealing with swollen ankles.

The next Monday at school Matthew learned that he'd earned second place!  He was so proud of himself.  Now the regional science fair awarded a certain number of first place, second place, third place, and the rest were participation awards.  Go Matthew!

Sadly I didn't get a picture of him with his project board.

But I'll get a picture of him with his award and put it HERE:


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