Monday, March 19, 2012

Motion Monday: Science Fair Fun

Can you use "game theory" to predict the actions of Al-Qaeda? What does the solar panel of the future look like? What are the effects of UV-C light on e.coli? Does the angle of a wind turbine blade affect its efficiency? Those were just a few of the questions posited by middle and high school students at the Contra Costa County Science and Engineering Fair held last week at Los Medanos College here in Pittsburg, CA. 

JUDGING THE ENTRIES We attended because our founder, Bud Wisecarver, and our new Vice President of Manufacturing, Aldo DeAmicis, volunteered as judges. This marked our third year participating as a company, and Bud's third year judging. The math and science building on campus was full of displays, and the judges spent hours Friday morning poring over the project descriptions before students arrived for interviews.

PRIZE PROJECTS Since we are passionate about engineering, we also sponsored special awards in both the middle and high school categories. Bud and Aldo said they were impressed by the sophistication of some of the projects, particularly the works that examined electromagnetism, robotics and mechanical engineering, but two projects stood out among the rest:
  • Calling = Sending Electricity
    by Gale Ranch Middle School students Anirudh Makineni and Nishanth Salinamakki
    Using an electronic circuit to detect "unauthorized use" of a smart phone during class by passively illuminating a light-emitting diode co-located near the student  using only the signal that is being received by the smart phone as a power source. The illuminated LED would warn the teacher that someone was not paying attention to their lecture.
  • Revolutionizing the Modern Day Piston
    by California High School students Uttam Kumaran and Deepak Matharu
    Students examined how to use an electrical field to improve upon contemporary piston designs.
"It was inspiring to see the students' dedication and effort displayed at the science fair," Aldo said. "We judged several complex, forward-thinking concepts that were well beyond the students' curriculum level and were equally impressed with the comprehension and explanation of these concepts by the students during the interview phase of the science fair."

A big congratulations to all of the students who participated in the science fair. Your hard work is a great inspiration, and it was a pleasure to see the number of participants double this year!

MOTION MONDAY CHALLENGE So now it's game time. Instead of a word search, crossword or puzzle, we mixed up our #MotionMonday challenge with a picture game! Just click on the picture below to see it up close, a photo of our VP of Manufacturing at the science fair. There are seven things that are different in the second picture — can you find all seven? Let us know and we'll send the first five people with the correct answers a BWC swag goody bag. Just email the answers to Get your mind in motion!