My school didn’t have a traditional fair, but I remember doing a lot of cool science projects. My favorite was probably one in which we had to make a mouse trap using at least two simple machines, or something to that extent. I remember having a lot of fun designing and building this intricate (yet inefficient and if it had actually been used on a real mouse, quite inhumane, in hindsight) trap that consisted of a trip wire and a catapult. To a 5th grader, this was awesome!
I enjoyed building structures the most — rocket ships, trebuchets, etc — because they give you an appreciation for the differences between theory and application, the intricacies of all the buildings around us, and an understanding of how machines can do things much better than we can. The stuff that other kids did with animals was really cool too — the living is not necessarily better, but more vivid than the still.
My schools didn’t have science fairs either, but we did have to do independent science projects. My most favorite one was “splitting H2O.” It sounded so cool on paper, but actually, it just resulted in the water bubbling! Basically I attach wires to a pencil, connect the wires to a 9v battery, place the pencil in to a cup of water and watch for the bubble to surface. I enjoyed it, however once I left the wire attached to the battery for too long and the batter became really warm. I am sure something bad might happen if I had completely forgotten about it. I didn’t learn very much from the experiment, but it was cool.
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