04 April 2007

LA USD science fair

Last week I judged the middle school engineering projects at the LAUSD science fair! It was really great. The projects were so interesting. I felt a little bad because all the best projects came from the same middle school. Bonus for those kids because it seems they had a great science teacher! But I wish there were more great science teachers for all the kids across the school district...

The kids brought their projects on Monday night and we judged them on Tuesday. Then we called back the top students for interviews on Wednesday so as to facilitate prize assignments. Well, Tuesday night some more students set up their posters! So the organizers asked us if we could judge those additional posters on Wednesday, even though they wouldn't qualify for the prizes.

I finished my interviews and went to join two men who were judging the extra posters. One was an ex-highschool science teacher, the other was a science prof at cal poly, both in their 60s. They had gone through some of the late project posters, and I suggested I should start at the other end. "wait"--they said--"First go back and do that one...we didn't have the heart to do that one." hmm...what do they mean? Poor kid... I decided I will help a kid out...

well do you know what that poster was about?? It was a girl who studied the effect of different shampoos on shininess of hair. Now, it wasn't very good and she didn't have a good measure for shininess-- but those guys skipped it just because of the topic! I asked and they admitted it! I told them--"You should be ashamed of yourselves!" They didn't seem to care much...

Tell me ladies, if some highschool girl who loved science came up with a good, measurable way to know if shampoo makes your hair shiny-- would you or would you not invest heavily in her methods???? I was so pissed at those guys. If I hadn't been there, she would have gotten discouraged! Now I know that this girl may not care about the science fair-- but maybe she does! and imagine that her poster was the only one without a grade...

Not only that but when we all were finishing up, those guys left as I was grading a final poster, and when I was cleaning up I realized they had left two more off in the corner ungraded-- another one on shampoos and one on gel vs. mousse. No wonder science is boring to some girls, the topics that they are interested in don't get any respect...

1 comment:

Sheila said...

Plus her project had commercial applications. Very lucrative and practical.