— Students explore new areas of science

Sea Crest expands science fair categories. Published in the Half Moon Bay Review on Wednesday, January 17th. By Sarah Griego Guz.

The science fair is a rite of passage for many middle school students. Many adults remember sweating out the details the night before the big day in a final attempt to consolidate months of work on a tri-fold display board.

Sea Crest School has folded this event into an open house and schoolwide science festival that is suitable for all ages.

The hands-on happening offers innovative science experiences such as a banana keyboard made courtesy of Makey Makey. The electronic invention connects everyday objects to computer programs.

The standard science fair challenge is great for students who are wired to conduct experiments and are interested in specific topics, but others view the science fair with apprehension because they can’t find a question that interests them. Sea Crest Middle School science teacher Matthew Twining decided to modify the assignment.

“Traditional science fair projects appeal to a subset of the students,” said Twining. “There are students who are interested in engineering or environmental topics. I wanted to give everybody a chance to do something more closely aligned with their interests and aptitudes.”

Taking a page from Pasadena schools’ successful Innovation Exposition, Twining added categories for Invention, Environmental Innovation, Reverse Engineering, and Science Fiction.

Seventh-grader Chase Urban has been working on a project in the Reverse Engineering category.

“I couldn’t find a project or a question that I wanted to answer,” said Urban. “I like taking things apart. I liked the idea of taking the digital camera apart and mapping it all out and figuring out how it worked.”

 

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