Valencia Elementary School Science Fair - Feb 15, 2007

I volunteered once again this year to be a judge, as last year was so much fun. I love seeing kids having fun with science!. My good friend Rick Ferrell's daughter Jamie once again did a project, and asked for some help in getting photos of the moon to work with. In January I brought over Cabrillo's 10" LX200 telescope and showed her how to take digital images of the moon. She did a beautifully presented project measuring the dimensions of craters on the moon using shadows and geometry.

Couldn't help but notice that 10 of the 12 finalists were young women - great news for the next generation of scientists, but come on, guys! You're getting hammered - pull it together!

Catchy titles always help! Jamie Ferrell (right, and her little sis Kelsey) and Big Holes in the Moon. She made the list of finalists going on to the county science fair.

Jamie's good friend Kayla also did a cosmically inspired project - she tested whether astrology can really predict people's personalities. It was a very well constructed test, and showed a correlation no better than random chance - the same result as the Big Science tests on astrology! Nicely done, Kayla!

Another finalist, Bryson tested whether auditory vs. visual memory was better in boys vs. girls.

Julia tested batteries using light.

Caroline tested the speed of rolling balls of different sizes.

This project tested the best oil for chocolate chip cookies - sounds like a worthy project for sure.

Another finalist - this one tested soil and growth potential.

Becca's project tried to determine which type of fat most stuck to the sides of pipes and how it may relate to health.

Kendra had one of the top 3 in the school - a well-defined determination of the amount of magnetic material in a survey of beaches in Santa Cruz county.

Another catchy title. Courtney tested the absorbancy of various brands of paper towels - surely an important question to answer for the parents.

This young scientist (left) tested parachutes material and air support properties.

Rachel was also one of our county-bound finalists. She tested various carpet products in guarding against and removing some really disgusting stains.

There was plenty of horse-play during the show too, Kelsey and friend are dueling here on their micro game players.