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Old 11-15-2012, 04:50 PM   #16
High Country Herb
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Originally Posted by MrPulldown View Post
12 year old!!!
This is my parent's next door neighbor's 12 year old, and he did this by himself:

http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2012/10...reinvents.html
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:32 PM   #17
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Pissed Bad NEws

So the short version is the whole project was rejected and replaced with one (picked by the teacher) of "grow four identicle plants in four pots while watering one with water, one with gatorade, one with ammonia, and one with soda pop. Report resuslts.

My personaly opinion here, the teacher had no idea how to grade the carburetor and sent him home with a safe project that she knew how to grade because she's seen it done every year for her 20 year career. So much for a child learning what he wants to learn with something that might actually interest him. Lets just do this no child left behind BS project so I can give you a C and send you on the way with another check box marked off on my govenment forms.

So yea, I'm a little pissed off. He's doing the plant project under durress but he's doing it. He has zero interest in it and really doesnt care. So in the meantime, he and I are cutting this carb apart anyway and doing this experiment our way. At least he'll learn something he's interested in.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:46 AM   #18
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So the short version is the whole project was rejected and replaced with one (picked by the teacher) of "grow four identicle plants in four pots while watering one with water, one with gatorade and miracle grow, one with beer, and one with coffee. Report results.
sucks about the teacher rejecting the idea
Maybe switch it up a little so the results end up being something the teacher hasn't seen before

try to have fun with it anyways
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:52 AM   #19
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So the short version is the whole project was rejected and replaced with one (picked by the teacher) of "grow four identicle plants in four pots while watering one with water, one with gatorade, one with ammonia, and one with soda pop. Report resuslts.
Not so bad- make sure that he make a prediction prior to performing the experiment and write it down; thats what he will be testing, whether he's right or wrong on his hypothesis.

A few suggestions, if I may, so he doesnt kill three out of four plants, and is left with nothing to measure or report.
Have him water all four plants, measure out the same amount for all four. say, a half a cup every other day; whatever gets the soil moist.

The one with the water is his "normal" or "control" plant. The other three are the "test" subjects, and should have the other liquids applied in addition to the normal water. Id suggest something like 5-10 drops from an eye dropper every 3-4 days, or every week, if its long enough of a time until he needs to stop.

Things he should measure and/or record weekly or bi-weekly are length of longest main stem, # of leaves, and color of leaves. at the end of the experiment, he should remove all the plants from the soil, wash out all the soil, dry the plant, roots and all, and weigh them. If he wants to get cute, separate the roots from the abovegruond stuff and weigh separately. That will show some results.

Too bad about the carb idea; thats sounded pretty interesting. At least he should grab an A from the govt teacher!

pm me if I can help any further. I did this crap all the time back when I was teaching college botany.

accurate iron screwed with this post 12-11-2012 at 03:53 AM Reason: sp
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:40 AM   #20
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thats too bad... that carb idea would have been good, and with a small air compressor, some tube work, and some colored water you could have actively demonstrated bernoulli's principle. Im in grad school for mechanical engineering, and do some experiments in the fluid dynamics lab here and there. I would have been able to help with the theory behind the experiment with the carb. I would have done a cut-away to show the inner workings of the carb, then tubed up an air compressor and some duct work to a good carb. Fill the bowl with colored water, and hold a white sheet on the "out" side of the carb, and show how it "sucks" the colored fluid from the bowl into the air stream, due to bernoulli's principle. Control the pressure from the air compressor line (air speed) and show how 1 minute of high pressure and 1 minute of low pressure differ on the amount of die on the white sheet. Hypothesis is your thoughts on how air speed effects the amount of dye on the sheet.

Thats an A project right there, keep it in mind for the future. It can be advanced for 12 years old, as I didnt learn the basics of bernoulli's principle till high school. And the advanced applications of the principle as an undergrad in my 3rd year.

This project will grab the attention of any kid who has a dirtbike and has heard the word carburetor once or twice.

Since you are stuck with the plant project, you should do it right. Take the advice of the botanist that previously posted. Teach the kid that if you are going to do something, do it right even if you arent totally interested. The good projects will come to you after you have proved good work ethic.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:51 AM   #21
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My personaly opinion here, the teacher had no idea how to grade the carburetor and sent him home with a safe project that she knew how to grade because she's seen it done every year for her 20 year career. So much for a child learning what he wants to learn with something that might actually interest him. Lets just do this no child left behind BS project so I can give you a C and send you on the way with another check box marked off on my govenment forms.
Its a good thing that its your opinion. I think the teacher is giving him a project that he has the ability to complete ON HIS OWN. While your intentions were in your son's best interest for a good grade, how much of the project would he have actually done? Yeah, he would have done a bit of research, but I think the Bernoulli Principle is above most 12 year old's heads. Christ...I'd have to look it up myself to understand it again.

We live in an age where we as parents want our children to excel. While noble in principle, its better that we let THEM excel on their own merits. Not while being led by the hand and directed by an adult.

When I was doing Science Fair Projects in High School, my Dad was a Lab Tech for Agriculture Canada. I was able to get access to facilities and equipment, but my experiments were designed by yours truly and I usually placed very high in the Life Sciences category. However, I designed the experiment. I carried it out. The old man sat me down and showed me how to use the centrifuge, acquired me some of the equipment I needed and gave me an old spectrometer and the manual.

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Originally Posted by chambersc View Post
So yea, I'm a little pissed off. He's doing the plant project under durress but he's doing it. He has zero interest in it and really doesnt care. So in the meantime, he and I are cutting this carb apart anyway and doing this experiment our way. At least he'll learn something he's interested in.


Nothing wrong with some non-traditional learning. Take some of the suggestions earlier in the thread and give him some ideas for additional variables. If he wants to do well, he can blow the teacher off her feet with some of the extras. Science Fair Judges like kids who think outside the box as well....
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:56 PM   #22
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So its been a few weeks and the plants are in process. He's using water, vinegar, club soda, and saline as his 4 liquids.

Been using a 3cc syringe per plant, each with their own syringe so there is no cross contamination. I've been making him make weekly notes and take weekly photos. Normal bedtime conversation now is "make sure you brush your teeth and water your plants..." He's been keeping up with it and I've sneaked a few peeks at his notes and they are pretty good.

Interesting result, the club soda is growing the best of the four! Not sure why that is, but I'm glad to see we are seeing some sort of unexpected result. That's even got the wheels turning in his head.

Project is due when he goes back from Christmas Break.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:05 PM   #23
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CO2
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:53 AM   #24
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CO2
yeah, but not the way you're thinking. Dark reactions occur in the chloroplast of the leaves so the CO2 isn't going in through the roots. Likely it's localized as the CO2 leaves the solution and rises toward the upper part of the plant.

Then of course, there is the slightly acidic condition caused by the carbonic acid but not likely enough to change results.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:53 AM   #25
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That was my initial thought too, but that bottle is so flat now after being opened and closed for weeks that I didn't figure there could be much CO2 left in it?
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:00 AM   #26
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So its been a few weeks and the plants are in process. He's using water, vinegar, club soda, and saline as his 4 liquids.

Been using a 3cc syringe per plant, each with their own syringe so there is no cross contamination. I've been making him make weekly notes and take weekly photos. Normal bedtime conversation now is "make sure you brush your teeth and water your plants..." He's been keeping up with it and I've sneaked a few peeks at his notes and they are pretty good.

Interesting result, the club soda is growing the best of the four! Not sure why that is, but I'm glad to see we are seeing some sort of unexpected result. That's even got the wheels turning in his head.

Project is due when he goes back from Christmas Break.

That's good. I had a freshman year science project go to hell, did a 'how are 2 strokes superior to 4's, and could the motors be combined to have the best of both worlds'. Noone liked it, the teachers and judges had no clue what I was talking about, and I think they believed I was making shit up. Never tried again. The next year I brought in some dead corn plants and made shit up, actually did good on accident.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:37 AM   #27
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I cannot speak for the OP's stepson, but at age 12 I understood carburetors very well. It's not out of the question that a 12 year old could have made a good cutaway and a good project, on his own.

At age 16 for a high-school science fair project I built a wood gas generator. And ran a lawnmower on it. Couldn't really use the lawnmower since the rest of the apparatus was too big, but at the time I remember the argument that "I couldn't have made that myself". They went so far as to call my parents, who didn't even know I had built it, and accuse dad of building it for me. The fallout from that stunt ended up haunting me for the rest of my time in school, since like the teacher who gave the kid a plant project he wasn't interested in, it's easier to grade something you've seen 100 times before, and it ill behooves a teenager to call them on it.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:59 AM   #28
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I cannot speak for the OP's stepson, but at age 12 I understood carburetors very well. It's not out of the question that a 12 year old could have made a good cutaway and a good project, on his own.

At age 16 for a high-school science fair project I built a wood gas generator. And ran a lawnmower on it. Couldn't really use the lawnmower since the rest of the apparatus was too big, but at the time I remember the argument that "I couldn't have made that myself". They went so far as to call my parents, who didn't even know I had built it, and accuse dad of building it for me. The fallout from that stunt ended up haunting me for the rest of my time in school, since like the teacher who gave the kid a plant project he wasn't interested in, it's easier to grade something you've seen 100 times before, and it ill behooves a teenager to call them on it.
Well, my opinion is that is exactly what happened here, but we're trudging onward and his plant experiment is going well. In the meantime, he helped me put together the bank of 4 carbs on my VFR project. He did the right fork leg while I did the left one a while back. This weekend he will be learning to rebuild brake calipers and master cylinders on it. Onward and upward. He's not too bummed about it. But, we're still going to cut apart that CV carb sometime soon. He's going to do it,he's going to paint it, and then we'll mount it on a plaque and its going on his wall. He's all kinds of excited about that and couldnt care less that it's not a school project.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:52 AM   #29
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He's all kinds of excited about that and couldnt care less that it's not a school project.
...and that's all that matters. School projects come and go, but he'll remember working with Dad on stuff the rest of his life. You should be extremely proud.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:59 AM   #30
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It's easy to get caught up in helping your kids with projects. Been there, done that. Here's something of interest for you teachers, my kids present school makes parents sign a contract at the beginning of each year that they "will not help with homework". The direction is that if the child has trouble with the homework (or project), the teacher is the one that needs to know so that they can bridge the knowledge gap, and it is their responsibility to do this.

A daily report is communicated back and forth between parents and teachers. If my son has difficulty with something, I put a note in the journal back to the teacher. If the teacher wants him to practice a particular skill more, they make a note to me as to why the homework was assigned, so we're all in the loop.
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