PSN-L Email List Message

Subject: Re: science fair seis
From: CapAAVSO@.......
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 10:49:19 EDT


Many thanks for posting your letter concerning helping "Desperate Mom" finish 
her son's seismograph in a couple of days. I wrote to her direct saying I 
could do nothing to help her finish it in two days but encouraging her to try 
again next year and promising I'd help her. This morning I got an answer 
saying "thanks, but no thanks".

Like you, I am a judge at the science fairs and my experience confirms that 
what you have said pretty much sums up what is true of the rest of the 
science fairs. I recently spent two hours judging nine projects entered by 
high school students here in Orlando, FL. where we had over 300 entries and 
more than 100 judges. I find help and support from teachers and parents plays 
a large part in how much interest the student takes in making a project that 
amounts to their learning something about doing science. Parents are the most 
important. If they have no interest in science their kids are not going to be 
interested. They see it as a homework assignment that should require a few 
days at most and be over with.

Despite the disasters we see I find it very rewarding to be a judge at the 
fair each year. A question I always ask is whether they are thinking of 
pursuing a career in science or engineering. This year only one answered yes. 
She was an Asian girl and her project was well done and I'm sure she spent 
months preparing it for the fair because it was the best of the nine I 
judged. Just one is enough to keep me judging the fairs. I hope some of the 
rest of you PSN seismo builders will consider volunteering to be science fair 
judges. It's a very rewarding experience and something we can do to help 
society produce the scientists and engineers our country will need in the 

Best regards,

Public Seismic Network Mailing List (PSN-L)

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Larry Cochrane <cochrane@..............>