COUNTRYWAY – Just about everyone knows that texting, talking on cellphones, eating and drinking while driving aren’t the best ideas.
But Noah Berg set out to prove it.
The fourth-grade Lowry Elementary School student’s project in the school science fair detailed the issues of distracted driving. He put a lot of work into it and hypothesized that texting or talking on a cell phone while driving was more dangerous that eating or drinking (nonalcoholic) beverages while driving.
For his experiment, he used an electronic car that reached a speed of 5 mph. He tried a little of everything while driving. He ate, he drank through a straw, he texted, and he made cell calls.
Noah found out that eating and drinking take up more time than texting. He also found out that it can be more dangerous – he almost drove his electric car into a tree.
“I learned a lot,” Noah said. “I also learned that they are both dangerous.”
Fourth-grader Anish Amin went a different route with his project. He and Noah were battling for first-place and both said there was a very minor bit of trash talking as the contest went on. Anish wanted to see if scented candles burned slower or faster than the nonscented variety.
He experimented with different scents and different colored candles, and proved his hypothesis that scented and colored candles burned faster. He was right all along.
The Lowry students were given a long list of ideas that they could pursue and said they gained an appreciation for science.
“It was fun,” Anish said. “I learned a lot and I want to do it again next year.”
Among the fifth-graders, the competition came down to Elizabeth Dhanaraj and Jordan Dixon. Elizabeth did an experiment involving sugar and crystals. She realized that the amount of sugar caused crystallization faster. The less sugar, the longer it took to crystallize.
“I watched a bunch of videos and saw an expert talk about how they use crystals to make candy,” Elizabeth said.
Jordan did her project on building bridges and the foundations to use for a model bridge. She used three types of devices to choose which was the strongest: straws, cardboard, and popsicle sticks.
She went at it and discovered the best way is to learn how to distribute weight. It was a tough project once she realized that different weights affected all three in different ways.
So she took to the computer and checked out a website to get to the bottom of it.
“It all turned out different with the weights and the supports, but I learned a lot. This will help me in middle school.”
The fair was part of the Lowry STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program.