12 year olds science project

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by chambersc, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. C-Stain

    C-Stain Accredited Nincompoop

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    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.

    :clap

    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....
    #21
  2. chambersc

    chambersc Been here awhile

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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.
    #22
  3. Benesesso

    Benesesso Long timer

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    CO2 :1drink
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  4. Tmaximusv

    Tmaximusv Been here awhile

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    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.
    #24
  5. chambersc

    chambersc Been here awhile

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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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  6. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

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    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. :lol3
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  7. Tinker1980

    Tinker1980 Long timer

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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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  8. chambersc

    chambersc Been here awhile

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    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.
    #28
  9. JTT

    JTT Long timer

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    ...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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  10. JTT

    JTT Long timer

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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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  11. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    I helped run a few science shows while I was in college as part of a program I was involved in.

    The instructors always wanted to make sure that the project would have something for the presenter to put together a project that had results. So they frowned upon projects like - build a catapult - but would be perfectly content with a project where parameters of the catapult were tested - such as catapults with variable release timing, or release angle, or spring tension.

    Otherwise you got kids who liked to build catapults making a catapult. And kids who knew how something worked doing a presentation that did not have, hypothesis, test apparatus, protocol, results, conclusions, discussion. And that's want they want these things to become.
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  12. chambersc

    chambersc Been here awhile

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    Well, tomorrow is the day of reckoning for the plant project. He finished it up last night and I thought he did a very good job. His notes were good and we had three photos he printed and we laminated of the plants in process.

    His hypothesis, data, conclusion, etc were all solid and after we discussed the one thing in the four liquids that only one had (carbon dioxide) he did a very good job of writing it up in his conclusion why he felt that one grew fastest. May or may not be correct, but he put HIS thought into it and wrote up why he thought that.

    So, its ready to take to school tomorrow and in the mean time, we're going dirt bike riding this afternoon!

    [​IMG]
    #32
  13. chambersc

    chambersc Been here awhile

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    He got to take a little post science project aggression out today on the dirt.

    [​IMG]
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  14. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

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    Looks like success was had all the way around. I'm a science teacher so I totally get the adults getting more excited about doing the project than their kids :rofl. Before my district decided they were too dangerous we would build trebuchets. Back to school night got to be pretty funny when all the fathers started asking when we were going to do the trebuchet project :rofl:rofl:rofl

    In a traditional science fair you're supposed to have your question, hypothesis etc so I get where his teacher was coming from, but I wouldn't have just given him a project. There should have been something she could have steered him towards that still had to do with bikes and he could have come up with his own question based on his own experiences. Looks like he did finally get into the plant experiment though and had the experience of setting up controls, etc.

    Some schools are now giving the kids the option of a traditional science fair or an engineering project. While the carb model still doesn't fit in other one I like the options for the kids. Sounds like you two are going to have some great experiences cutting apart a carb and him learning to work on bikes. Have fun!
    #34