Sunday, March 4, 2012

Let's Blow Something Up, Daddy!

The Wakester is in third grade, so this year was our first foray into the world of science fairs.  Individual participation for third graders this year was optional, but Jay felt that it would be a good experience for Wake, so he told him he had to at least compete at the school level.  Wake, of course, didn't want to participate at all, but Jay did a pretty good job of getting him on board by talking up all the different experiments they could do.  Wake really wanted to do a volcano (he got one for Christmas a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it), but Jay felt that wasn't original enough (quite true!) and encouraged him to do something else.  Well, Wake just wanted to "blow something up!"  Thus, our Acidic Reactions science fair project was born.

The goal of the project was to see what acid would cause the greatest reaction when combined with baking soda.  The boys looked at lemon juice, bleach, soda water, cola, and vinegar.  Wake learned what kind of acid was in each of those liquids, and his hypothesis was that the soda water would cause the greatest reaction "because it was bubbly." Then he learned that the bubbles were caused by carbonation. Jay bought him some test tubes, safety goggles, and a mask, and they got to work.  In the first round of tests, they found that lemon juice actually caused the greatest reaction.  Wake really enjoyed doing the experiments, and his daddy really enjoyed going over the top in designing his presentation board.  This is what happens when Daddy is a graphic designer....

In Jay's defense, he did ask the teacher if he could help Wake with the board (she made the mistake of saying yes), and Wake did pick out the colors and pictures for the design.  So, it was Wake's idea, Daddy just helped with the designing and printing part! :)

When Wake got to school with his project, the teachers were very disappointed that he had not chosen to compete at the county level should he place at the school level, so he and Jay decided to go for it.  Jay helped him get together the research paper he needed to turn in (most of which was already done to meet the school level requirements), and they entered.  Wake ended up placing second in his school (the only third grader to place--go Wake!!) and went on to the county competition.  He didn't place there, but he did get an awesome medal to go with his cool trophy! We were all very proud of all of his hard work, and we can't wait to try it again next year!

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