Matt Blunt, Investigative Reporter
On February 22nd, the Future Scientists Engineer Conference was held at Unity School. Mrs. Hassan first started running FSEC in the year of 2016.Her favorite part about doing FSEC is seeing all of the students’ work and seeing the excitement on the students’ faces as they present their work and get feedback. Ms. Niederkofler, Mr. Jones, Ms. Heinonen, Mrs. Ferguson, and Ms. Lisa helped Ms. Hassan the most with the science fair this year.
One of the main parts of the science fair is the 4th grade science projects. They did science projects, in addition to 8th and 6th grade. In first place came William Simmel and Diego Lombana, Madison Langdon and Olivia Lewis came in second place, and in third place came Madelynn Ortlieb and Chloe Strollo. William and Diego did their project on how much grease is in potato chips. They used four different brands and compared and contrasted how much grease there was in all of the different potato chips. They got the idea from, and were inspired by, Diego’s mom, Mrs. Lombana. She studies health and Diego and William want to prevent heart attacks. When they both got up on stage to collect their ribbon, they were happy and very surprised. Both students agreed that their favorite part of doing the project was eating the chips when done, and seeing the grease drip from the potato chips. Madison and Olivia did their project on how to grow rock candy. They got the idea from a website called Science Buddies. When they both got up on stage they felt nervous, but happy. The favorite part of their project was making the rock candy. They also loved putting in the flavoring because it smelled amazing. Madelynn and Chloe did a project on popcorn called “What’s Popping?” They popped four different types of popcorn and then counted how many kernels were left over. One of the girls’ mother got the idea because she likes popcorn. When Madelynn and Chloe got up on stage to collect their ribbon, they felt surprised and thought that it was very unexpected. Their favorite part of doing the project was popping the popcorn because of the satisfying sounds it would make.
The 6th and 8th grades did projects on many different things. Brooke Cohron, a 6th grader, did, “ Does Temperature Affect Magnetism?” Brooke got her the idea from Science Buddies, just like Madison and Olivia. She told me that her favorite part of doing her project was presenting it after being done with all of her hard work. Brooke was one of the students that presented in the four different rooms this year. In the four rooms, students get to showcase their project to students and guests that come to visit. Brooke told me that she felt nervous yet excited before she was about to present. Chris Chisholm, a 6th grader did, “Air Pressure vs. Atmospheric Pressure.” He got his idea from Universal. Chris observed that most of the rides there went really fast and were upside down. The favorite part of his project was doing his experiment. Anthony Guerisse, an 8th grader did, “Effectiveness of Water Filters.” His favorite part was getting his results afterwards, such as what the water looked like after it went through the filters. Overall, the 4th, 6th, and 8th grade projects this year were all very interesting and creative.
This year, 7th grade was in FSEC too. There were some changes from last year though. This year, Ms Niederkofler had the students combine their inventions with their business project and the students pitched their inventions to potential investors just like on shark tank. I spoke to Elizabeth to get some information. Her partner was Bella, and their project was a pillow with essential oils. In order to make their project a success, they had to go through many steps. First, they brainstormed an idea. Second, they started to create their prototype and sketched it out. Third, they built their prototype or put it together. Lastly, they presented their project at the science fair. They got inspired by a fact online stating that 50 to 70 million adults across the globe have a sleeping disorder or a difficult time sleeping. The essential oils helps the person feel more relaxed so they can sleep better. To sum up, Elizabeth and Bella had an amazing and fun time presenting their project and the outcome of all of the 7th grade projects were very successful.
This year, Unity School was very lucky to have an amazing keynote speaker, Britt Smith. She is one of Mrs. Hassan’s very close friends and she is an aerospace engineer. Growing up, science was her favorite subject in school. She would do home projects all the time, and once she even took apart a computer! Not always would her parents approve of the experiment that she was doing though. Her dad was a US marine pilot, and that is how she got interested in aerospace engineering. Ms. Smith was a very smart child and was in the upper classes. Now, she lives and works in Palm Beach County designing aircraft engines. She said, “Anyone can make a difference, people can solve problems in everybody’s lives through science”. She doesn’t work alone though, making an aircraft takes a village. It needs blades, games, rotors, stators, cases, tubes, brackets, shafts, gears, ducts, actuators, systems, tools, and much more. This process can take years. Even after that whole process, there is more to it. Before the plane can take off it needs to be tested for many hours on the ground for safety reasons. Ms. Smith said that there are three traits that make a fantastic engineer, curiosity, creativity, and being able to collaborate with others. If people don’t ask questions, then they may not be able to understand a subject or get to know more about it. If people aren’t creative, then no new ideas will come into place and everything will be the same. If people aren’t collaborative and don’t get along with others then they won’t be able to do much, because you can’t do much by yourself. To sum up, Ms. Smith is a great inspiration to the world and she is an fantastic aerospace engineer.
All in all, this year’s science fair was very amazing with the keynote speaker, the amazing Ms. Hassan and all of the different astounding science projects from all of the students.