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Friday, February 24, 2012

Science Fair

This year was Tyler's first ever science fair. In fact, this is the first time any of our kids have been involved in a science fair. Sounds scary to me, because I am not a scientist by nature (at least not complex science :).

So I was totally relieved when Tyler picked a very simple project. Maybe I should back up here and say that Paul had to do a science project at the end of last year. He picked something so complex I couldn't even understand exactly what he was saying in his report. (It had something to do with using microcalorimetery to measure the heat in dirt to determine the amount of nutrients in samples from our garden and a neighbor's garden.) Needless to say, I was more stressed about Paul than his project (then again, he understood what he was doing, and I thought he was getting in over his head ... and was glad to be wrong) so I was really not looking forward to more stress from another science project.

Their instructions came home with a list of ideas, and Tyler picked one: Does the design of a paper airplane affect the distance it will fly? He chose five different airplane styles and created them. Then to make sure it wasn't someone's throwing style that affected the planes' distances, he had five different people throw the airplanes. We measured them in between each time and he came up with the averages.

He had a blast doing the project -- not only did he learn some new ways to fold paper airplanes (he wouldn't use mine, although I think it would have won ;), but he got lots of family involved. Those honored with throwing his planes (in addition to himself) were his brother Zachary, his cousin Nick, his Uncle Dustin and his Grandpa. How cool is that? (BTW, the plain ol' dart design was the winner. :)

He put together his display and it looked great:

One more fifth-grade project down. We can do this! :)

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