Today the Half Moon Bay Review reported on the fantastic Science Festival celebrated last week at Sea Crest:
By Sarah Griego Guz
Annual science event a hit at Sea Crest –
The sounds of science rang out across the Kohrs Family Center at Sea Crest School on Thursday evening.
On one side of the gym, seventh-grade students stood nervously beside their science projects awaiting a visit from multiple judges. Their topics ranged from “How Animals Impact Blood Pressure” to “Why Onions Make You Cry” to “The Effects of Liquid Consumption on the pH of Human Urine.”
Yes, one brave young scientist actually tested the urine of multiple subjects.
Squeals of excitement exploded from the other side, as children of all ages launched fizzy rockets, extracted DNA from a strawberry or simply built a bridge.
“I love it because everybody comes out for all grades,” said Heather DeWeerd, fifth-grade humanities teacher at Sea Crest School. “You have the seventh-grade science fair.
“The exhibits are always different. They’re hands-on and the kids get to leave with science experiments they make.”
Second-grade Sea Crest student Wyatt Dunning waited expectantly at a construction paper launch pad. His experiment, a film canister rocket powered by Alka-Seltzer and water, was about to blast off.
There was a small pop as the rocket went off. Dunning seemed to be delighted by the result.
“I put this rocket power in,” said Dunning, referring to the effervescent tablet. “And then I put water in and it made this chemical reaction. And it made a big boom and it blasted off the cap.
“Boom!” he continued, gesturing with open arms while peering at the rocket through his safety glasses.
“This is my favorite experiment because it has something to do with chemical reactions. I love chemical reactions,” he said. “It’s like two different chemicals bounce together and make a chemical reaction. It’s like two chemicals reacting.”
While Dunning was watching his rocket take off, Sophia Nielsen was belting out a tune on a banana keyboard.
“They are bananas that, if you press them, they make different sounds,” said Sophia Nielsen. “I think they are pretty cool.”
The banana piano consisted of alligator clips, wires and proprietary technology from MIT Media Lab called “Makey Makey,” an electrical circuit that seemed to magically make a musical instrument out of fruit.
“Because they are connected to this, that connected to that, that’s connected to this other thing, and that’s why they make music,” said Nielsen, offering up her explanation behind the musical fruit.
According to the Makey Makey website, the technology behind the banana piano is the brainchild of Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum, two Ph.D. students who worked at the MIT lab.
Bananas aside, the kit can also be used to turn pencil drawings into a joystick or Play-Doh into a controller for a favorite video game. Pac-Man anyone?
The science experiment portion of the evening was a result of a dynamic collaboration between a parent and a member of the Sea Crest faculty.
Together with Michelle Giacotto, director of Lower School, parent volunteer Gizette Sperinde worked tirelessly to bring another successful science night across the proverbial finish line.
“The strawberry DNA station is probably my favorite and the one station that requires the most amount of preparation,” said Sperinde in a message to the Half Moon Bay Review. “I hope that it triggers a discussion and understanding of DNA, its importance, and how it provides building blocks for all life forms.
“When I do this activity in the classroom, the discussion inevitably switches to race,” she continued. “I always love telling kids that race is a human construct having nothing to do with their DNA.”