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Event Report: Anne Arundel County Regional Science and Engineering Fair

(Report by Bruce Petro, IIE Judge)
Saturday, March 06, 2010

Today I participated at the subject fair as the IIE National Capital Chapter Judge. Student projects were reviewed and evaluated, and prizes were determined including certificates printed on site.

Prizes awarded included certificates (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 3 Honorable Mentions), each with a book, and each wrapped with a red ribbon. Certificates were printed in color at the event, signed, and my Professional Engineer (PE) seal embossed on premium parchment paper. The first 3 prizes included the following book: 8 ½” x 11” “Way Things Work”. The 3 honorable mention prizes included certificates on cardboard and the following book: smaller than 8.5 x 11, “World Almanac and Book of Facts”. In each case the book cover was facing away so that the title and description could be viewed and addressed without untying the ribbon. The presentation ceremony will be at a later date, and I do not plan on attending. Prizes were left in 2 paper tote bags with Valerie Wesner, county representative for the event.

Following are the winners:

1st Prize: Jessica S.
Project title: Kill-A-Watt Save-A-Lot.
Project # 1107089E
Category: Environmental Analysis. Grade: 7th
(IE note: This project was a cost reduction analysis project that measured the effects of turning off electronic devices when not in use. Student searched on line and obtained a device [P3, looked like a Radio Shack type instrument] that measured watts, kilowatts, amps, etc, when plugged between device and wall outlet.)

2nd Prize: Tyler W.
Project title: What Battery Brand Lasts the Longest?
Project # 0907018
Category: Engineering: Electrical & Mechanical. Grade: 7th
(IE note: This project was a cost benefit type project that compared performance of similar specification but different brand batteries [and at different costs] under similar conditions for best value.)

3rd Prize: Allison A.
Project title: Which Beverage Increases Blood Pressure Most?
Project # 140847NP
Category: Medicine & Health Science. Grade: 8th
(IE note: This project was a human factors measurement project. It measured the human effects in terms of blood pressure after consuming different beverages with different amounts of caffeine under controlled conditions. Population samples included young, old, in-between ages, different sex, and other categories. Afterwards student realized there might be other factors also influencing measurements including amount of sugar, stress, others.)

Honorable Mention: Samantha H.
Project title: Insulation
Project # 1006150
Category: Energy & Transportation. Grade 6th
(IE note: This cost/benefit project measured different types of insulation materials [and their costs] and their effects in performance providing hot water over time. Materials used were those available to the student. If the student were to do over again, might consider going to commercial contractor types and obtaining their advice and sample products.)

Honorable Mention: Benjamin P.
Project title: Angle of Optimum Lift for Different Wings
Project # 1606093
Category: Physics & Astronomy. Grade 6th
(IE note: This project tested and evaluated the performance of different design wings under controlled conditions. The amount of measured lift was the performance indicator. A wind tunnel was constructed and used to test the wings. Student was building own model aircraft.)

Honorable Mention: Emily W.
Project title: Wind Power vs. Solar Power in Crownsville, MD
Project # 1009144
Category: Energy & Transportation. Grade 9th
(IE note: This project tested the performance and efficiency of various types of “green” power under controlled conditions for the local environment.)

General Comments:
All students awarded prizes were given opportunity to briefly explain the project, asked why they chose the project, and what they might do differently if they were to do it again. Surprisingly all of them gave very good verbal presentations and responded to the questions positively. Students who admitted the initiative and work was done by parents were not awarded prizes. Many students offered handouts including abstract and other information.

There were 206 projects listed in the advance list, 2 of those sounded very interesting regarding IE but did not show. Most were individual student projects, some were team efforts. Following are the categories and number of projects listed:

01 Animal Science, 4
02 Behavioral Social Sciences, 19
03 Biochemistry, 2
04 Cellular & Molecular Biology, 1
05 Chemistry, 38
06 Computer Science, 7
07 Earth Science, 4
08 Engineering: Materials & Bioengineering, 8
09 Engineering: Electrical & Mechanical, 10
10 Energy & Transportation, 10
11 Environmental Analysis, 8
12 Environmental Management, 12
13 Mathematics, 5
14 Medicine & Health Science, 4
15 Microbiology, 4
16 Physics & Astronomy, 33
17 Plant Science, 16
18 Team Projects, 21 projects, many more students.

Location: North County High School, 10 E. 1st Ave, Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Point of contact: Valerie Wesner, phone 443.223.5975

Students will receive their awards at the Awards Ceremony, Thursday, March 11, 2010. I will not be attending, but am assured our awards will be presented for us.

Bruce Petro
Cell phone 410.446.7789

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