EEB students judge SE Michigan Science Fair
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
A handful of EEB graduate students were volunteer judges at the 54th annual Southeast Michigan Science Fair in mid-March 2012 at Washtenaw Community College.
Project topics asked questions as specific as do moving mirrors increase the efficiency of solar panels and whether mushrooms can pass gas to as far-reaching as our ability to reverse global warming. The fair included projects from area students in grades six through 12.
“Judging the science fair was a lot of fun – I did it with two of my housemates, and we had a blast looking at what ways kids apply science and scientific inquiry to the world,” said Katherine Crocker, who volunteered for the first time this year.
Crocker judged part of the junior high collections section, which was more descriptive than experimental. Projects explained the history of human understanding of light, the history of airplane flight, hydrofracking, what makes hamburgers bad for you (not the fat, surprisingly, but the chemicals they use to sterilize the meat in the packing plants, according to the project), and the benefits of using methane from water treatment plants. One of her favorites was a mathematical and anatomical investigation of why "an arrow to the knee" is so debilitating in Skyrim, a videogame.
"I've loved taking part in the Southeast Michigan Science Fair for the past five years,” said Liz Wason. “Many of the kids put a lot of thought and creativity into what turn out to be interesting projects. Participating in the science fair informs my own work by giving me a fresh perspective on the fundamental process of research. Using quantifiable criteria to judge elementary-school projects helps to remind me of the nuts and bolts of science."
Jasmine Crumsey, a fifth year volunteer, looks for the story behind what brought the student to their project. “I’m looking for a student to tell me how they came to care, the same way scientists explain why they do what they do to the public,” she said in an annarbor.com article. Crumsey noted that based on the entries, she sees a growing interest in the environment and its impact on people.
Other EEB volunteers included KC Semrau, for her second year and Sarah Barbrow, an EEB alumnus in her fifth year of volunteering.
Read more in an annarbor.com article
Pictured above left to right, top to bottom: Katherine Crocker, Jasmine Crumsey, KC Semrau, Liz Wason. Mushroom photo by KC Semrau.
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