Judging a Science Contest

On Wednesday the 27th, I volunteered as a judge for an 8th grace science contest at Imago Dei Middle School. There were three groups for whom my input was particularly important. One involved people's fear of robots, another involved human-powered electricity generation, and the last involved crown gall, a bacterial infection of plants. I also talked with two girls who did a presentation on aromatherapy (lavender and peppermint) and relaxation.

All the kids did a good job, and I enjoyed judging. It was interesting to see what the students put on their posters versus what they had to say about their projects.

This project, Your Own Electricity, was done by a group of three young men who went through five different generators in an attempt to charge a cellphone.

"Your Own Electricity" Science Project

This project, Crown Gall, was about a bacterial infection of plants and was a solo project. Unfortunately for the student, someone who had a collection of crown gall-infected roses never delivered them to her, so she wasn’t able to perform her experiments.

"Crown Gall" Science Contest

The final project, Robotics, mainly involved building and programming two kit robots, but the two young men who did this researched who fears their possible future robot overlords.

"Robotics" Science Contest

Everyone did a good job, but I regret that I didn't spend more time at others' presentations.

Too Many Calculators

Yesterday in my chemistry course's work group, there was a young woman who works in one of IUPUI's testing centers. For CHEM 105, we will take 4 computer tests outside class times at the centers; only the final is given in class. She said that from this term, only the TI-30Xa calculator will be allowed. After class I stopped at a testing center to confirm this is indeed so.

Last week I bought a $20 TI-30 XS II or something that is required for students for the math course I will teach.

For earlier math courses at Ivy Tech, I had to buy a Casio scientific calculator.

I have a little credit-card-sized basic function calculator that I got years ago for opening an account with a now-defunct Japanese bank, 北海道拓銀.

On my iPod I have two calculator programs, Scientific Graphing Calculator and i41CX+, in addition to two dedicated math programs, MathStudio (I use it often) and PocketCAS Pro.

I am heartily sick of buying new calculators, especially just to take 4 tests.