The annual grade 7 Science Fair, an ACS tradition that is the product of more than five months of student preparation, seized the Middle School science floor Thursday, February 16 under the guidance of grade 7 science teachers Marcelle Kairouz and Maya Mouhaidly. Student groups were tasked with devising a solution to real life problems by using either scientific processes or engineering skills under a topic of choice.
A science fair project idea for student group Said El Kadi, Celine Effendi, Mariam Tell, and Marcos Ventura emerged from an observed need. The “Smart Pack: The Bag that Carries Itself,” sprung from the students’ desire to minimize the crushing weight of books and technology they bring to and from school each day. “Heavy backpacks are not only uncomfortable, but they can damage people’s backs, especially kids whose spinal chords are still growing,” said team member Celine Effendi.
Not only does the students’ Smart Pack prototype carry its own load using wheels extracted from a rolling suitcase but it is waterproof and comes with a built-in solar panel power bank. “Sometimes our laptops run out of charge while we’re at school because we’ve used them so much, so this really helps because it charges devices while you’re walking,” said Miram Tell. “And, our laptops can get wet from the rain. We’ve experienced this many times first-hand when we have to wait 10, 20 minutes, even half an hour for the rain to stop. The backpack allows us to go home without our laptops getting wet,” explained Said El Kadi. The group created the Smart Pack from recycled materials and established a QR code linking viewers to the product’s website.
Iman Makdisi, Yasmin Saddi, and Alex Bocti decided to test “visualization versus practice in sports” using the scientific method for their fair project. The team divided test subjects into three groups: Group 1 practiced throwing a ball into a bucket for five minutes each day over one week; Group 2 visualized throwing a ball into a bucket for five minutes each day over one week; Group 3 did nothing. The girls hypothesized that Group 2, the visualizers, would be most effective at getting the ball in the basket, as proven by pro golfer and athlete advocate of visualization James Nesbitt. The result? Group 1 made the most baskets, proving that practice really does make perfect. The girls concluded, in the end, that practice coupled with visualization will create optimal results.
Other science fair projects this year included “Robofold,” a machine that folds t-shirts; “Trash It”, a game that teaches kids how to recycle; “The Alzheimer’s Patient Room Finder;” how to reduce boat pollution; a technique for dispensing of the trash that attracts birds at airports; and a new and cost effective water storage system for refugees and citizens, among many others.