Monday, February 17, 2014

Rochester Regional Science Fair Review

Rochester Regional Science Fair

(Keep checking back as updates will appear)

Adventure Science

February 11th, 2014
Paper Presentations Heintz Center

February 13th - 14th, 2014
Project Presentations at the University Center
Regional Sports Center, RCTC


All students in grades 6-12 interested in participating in the Rochester Regional Science Fair should see your science teacher for additional information.


Some reviews of the more and less amazing projects. I didn't record the names of the projects, but put them in the comments if you recognize yourself or your friends

My science fair projects in the 1970s were building paper airplanes, a rubber band hovercraft and a survey of v/STOL vertical takeoff planes. 

Voice Activated Arm

Middle school student - has adrunio hand hooked up to adrunio controller with voice recognition module, and a laptop padlocked to the table. Rules say it can't rely on internet or AC power but evidently laptop is ok.

Kinect Operated Robot Arm 

High school project, XBOX Kinect is hooked up to PC, which figures out the skeleton position of your arm.  Fortunately that part just needs one SDK method call. That arm position is fed into an Adrunio box which knows how to make a small tabletop arm move around. Supposedly it's all less than $500 in parts. He showed listing of the Kinect SDK code.

Hand Held Smoke Level Detector

High school student packages a microcontroller, LED light and detector in to cellphone sized package which measures the density of smoke particles in the air. 

Foot Pressure Detector 

Middle school student (??) attached 4 resistive pressure sensors to a wooden board to stand on. Sensors go into 5 of the analog inputs to Adrunio controller, and a bluetooth module. A iphone is programmed to read the pressure from the sensors along with algorithm to convert them into good or bad ranges. All done with professional level color powerpoint slides

Brew Your Own BioDiesel

Century High School student showed how make real biodiesel with an aluminum coke can and a few other things and how it would save the planet. I would never have tried that in the 70s when I was learning about things like gas shortages and price controls

Effectiveness of Micro Surgery

A pair of Century High School students each got 40 hrs (if I read it right) training on a multizillion dollar micro surgery machine, and compared it to manual surgery for practice tasks. Unbelievable what kind of hardware kids can get at in this medical town. 

Killing Fish Slowly

Somewhere there was supposed to be a rule against harming vertebrates, but there was one experiment that concluded that the health of fish in a tank declined as the amount of kerosene was increased.  I would not have guessed that outcome

Here is how the Post Bulletin covered it:

Kids show their science strength at regional fair in Rochester

Saturday, February 15, 2014 8:00 am

More than 260 kids showcased months of hard work this week at the Rochester Regional Science Fair.

This is the kid with the voice operated robot arm

science fair JMS0094.jpg
Andy Eggerbraaten, 12, demonstrates how a robotic arm he designed reacts to voice commands on Friday at RCTC in Rochester

The winner: 
Rochester Mayo High School junior Annie Sun qualified for the 2012 international competition, and she hopes her project this year will be as successful. Sun said she spent more than 200 hours on a her exhibit, which looks at ways to prevent cancer from spreading by making certain cells invisible to it...