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.

Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity

This morning I volunteered for a second day with Habitat for Humanity. We were supposed to paint the outside of a house to which we applied primer two weeks ago; however, it was raining—brief lightning, too—so we wound up working on the interior. The future Habitat homeowners putting in their required hours mainly worked on painting the doors. I wound up doing much caulking of baseboards and shelves, but I also sawed some boards to become shelves and secured shelves with a nail gun. Good stuff!

Helping people build homes is enjoyable, and it also gives exposure to a number of tools, methods, and people. The Tucson branch doesn't have any volunteering during July, because it is too hot. If more openings come up, I will volunteer again later this year.

More Habitat for Humanity Work

Today was my second and final round of volunteering for Habitat for Humanity as an AEP employee. The three main things I helped with were:

  1. Attaching channeling to the outside of the house. It will be used to attach the siding.
  2. Attaching vertical vinyl siding pieces on the corners of the house.
  3. Nailing overhead--awkward!--particle board ceiling panels for the front porch.

Habitat for Humanity Work

Yesterday I put in my first day with Habitat for Humanity. I was part of a group of volunteers from American Electric Power. The house we were building is at 97 E. Woodrow, Columbus, Ohio.

My tasks were somewhat limited, since I have zero experience with building homes. I moved wood and held long pieces for sawing. I did use a nail gun to place T-bars of wood for hanging drywall above the staircase. Later I help nail blue styrofoam to the outside of the house.

Apparently the home will end up being worth approximately $100,000. People sign up for the homes and must take classes on home repairs and maintenance as well as visit the construction site repeatedly. The local housing safety people come by regularly, too.

I'll do another day of work in July. It will be interesting to see how the work progresses. This is the 18th or 19th home that AEP has helped build in the Columbus area.