Treasure Coast Essay
7:19 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Being impressed at a science fair

On Saturday, February 2nd, I popped in on the Regional Science and Engineering Fair put on by the Indian River County school district and the Education Foundation of Indian River County at Gifford Middle School in Vero Beach.  It was an exhilarating but intimidating experience.  Exhilarating because the exhibits by the secondary and elementary school students were so impressive.  Intimidating because they know so much about the scientific method.   In fact, I dare say these students know more than most adults.  Each exhibit described an experiment in words and drawings on a cardboard display:  The problem, the hypothesis, the materials, the process and the result.  Here are examples.  Will sugar cause tooth decay?  Eggs, whose shells are similar to tooth enamel, were left in water, apple juice and a sugar solution.   Result: The shell of an egg left in the sugar solution decayed.  Which ingredient keeps apple slices from turning brown?  Lemon juice, grape juice or water?   Result: lemon juice.  Which food will attract more ants?   Sugar, apple or bread?  Result: sugar.  The experiments I just cited all were conducted by kindergarteners.  You can see why I found my visit to the Indian River County science fair to be intimidating, as well as exhilarating.  For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.

Why are the exhibits at this science fair both exhilarating and intimidating? Paul Janensch explains in this Treasure Coast Essay.