Sunday, January 26, 2014

Having Fun with Science - Tubbs Ambassador

This looks like way too much fun for a Science Fair Project, doesn't it?  We probably had more fun than you're supposed to have doing science, but that's where this lesson comes into play.  The snowshoeing wasn't part of the project, just part of the downtime between taking measurements for the real project taking place in the great outdoors!
Challenging me to jump in snowshoes.  It's the landing that's tricky.
His original 5th grade Science Fair Project idea involved growing plants from lima beans and determining if the plants could grow using liquids other than water.  We went to the grocery store and brought home a bottle of Coke, Gatorade and Vegetable Oil.  He planted the lima beans and added his liquids for several days.  There was a tiny sprout from the Gatorade and everything else was dead.  He wasn't into the plants or the project, and the deadline was extended for 2 more months, so I asked if there was something more interesting he'd like to do for his project.  We had time.
Tubbs Flex Alp
An Engineer friend reminded me that we live in God's country and there are so many cool projects he could do with skiing.  The wheels started spinning in his head and all of a sudden he was really excited about his Science Fair Project.  He got busy forming his hypothesis and recording it in his Google docs file on his Chrome Book.  Technology.
Getting in over our knees!
We got up early Saturday morning to measure snowboard speeds at 8am, 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm to determine what time of day the snow conditions are the fastest.  We marked the start and finish with 2 ski poles and he snowboarded down 3 times for each time of day.
10am run
He gathered his data:  time, temp, speed, distance, & sun position.  It was a long day starting in -1F, but we filled the between hours playing in the snow and going for a long mom/son snowshoe in the afternoon.
He has his data analyzed and he's busy putting it together for his presentation board.  His hypothesis was correct.
Final run as the sun sets.
There aren't too many things that will wake him up before dawn to rush me out the door.  It was important for him to base a project on his personal interests.  He spends his weekends shredding on the mountain; launching off moguls, cruising through the terrain park and floating through powder.  He had at least 3 different ideas once he knew he could merge his passions with his learning.  This is a project that really engaged his thought process.

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