Being a 5th grader, he was required to enter the science fair this year. We tossed around quite a few ideas before we settled on the perfect one for his project. He built a roller coaster from foam pipe insulation and ran a marble through it to see if the marble would loop the loop in the coaster. Here's a diagram of the coaster:
The question he was to answer was: In a foam roller coaster with one loop, how high does the starting point have to be in order for the marble to loop the loop?
His hypothesis was that the starting point should be 150 cm high. So Chris and Ethan built the roller coaster and tested the hypothesis by running the marble down the coaster 10 times for each starting point. Turns out, that hypothesis was "not supported" because the intial height needed was only 57 cm.
He did such a great job with the project! We typed his lab journal and made sure we followed all the science fair rules and had plenty of information. In fact, the display board at the end was SO PACKED we nearly didn't have room to fit everything on! He worked on this project from November until Jan 22, when it was due. Here's the finished display board:
The judging was today, and the judges even had Ethan come down and answer some questions about his project. He was so nervous! He thought he was in trouble or that he had done something wrong!
They announced the winners this afternoon a few minutes before the end of school. They named the 3 Honorable Mentions, then went through the winners of 3rd, 2nd and 1st place. Ethan had missed the fact that they were having a Grand Prize winner, so he was bummed that he hadn't gotten notice. And then they called his name as Grand Prize winner of the 4th and 5th grade! He told me he shouted and jumped out of his chair! He said he felt a million emotions all at once, and that he didn't even have the words to describe how he felt.
Tristan has been home with strep throat for 3 days, so he was with me when I picked Ethan up from school today. Ethan bolted to the car, threw the door open, and hollered "I WON!!!!" Tristan and I were so delighted for him! His 4th grade science teacher, Mrs. Fox, came to the door of my car and shared her enthusiasm and pride in him. She said, "Someday, he's going to be a famous scientist, and he'll say, I want to thank my 4th grade science teacher!" She's such a great lady, and she was truly thrilled for him, as are we all. :)
Not only did he have the science fair project due this week, he also competed in the 5th and 6th grade Spelling Bee as the representative for his class. He did a great job, kept his cool, and even though he didn't win, he put in a great effort.
Plus, he got his report card today and got straight A's for the six weeks and for the semester!
We couldn't be more pleased for him. He's worked so hard to do his best, and the efforts he's put in to be a good student have helped him mature and grow into a fine young man.
Now, we get to find out how he does in future competitions with his project, because we're pretty sure he's going to compete at the Allen ISD level! We'll keep you posted!