Since the beginning of this school year, I have had the pleasure and the privilege of working with an amazing group of students at my school. For the fourth straight year, our school has competed in the "Battle of the Brains" competition. This is no ordinary science fair! This is a science and math competition between our high school and our big-time rival high school just a few miles away. Although the rivalry is intense, the students who participate come away with an amazing experience!
The competition is held at the first of December, but we begin work at the first of the school year. Participation is completely voluntary. Our students are not required to enter, nor do they receive any grades in a class for their participation. We are allowed to take 15 group projects and 15 individual projects to the competition. A group may have up to 4 people and, of course, the individual projects are completed by a single participant. We allowed anyone and everyone to participate. At the first of the school year, we had more participants than would be allowed in the competition in December. We allowed everyone to begin the process of developing a project, with the understanding that we had more participants than we could take to the competition. The students were aware that some would not be allowed to compete. We set a deadline of October 1, where the students had to submit a written proposal of their project, and a deadline of November 1, where the student had to show evidence of a project "in the works." We knew that a few would drop out along the way, and by the time the November deadline arrived, we were at the exact number of students that we could take to the competition. I was SOOO thankful that we did not have to turn any students away!!
The most amazing thing to me is that these kids did this of their own free will. It was not required for a class, and they had to do all of the work at home in their spare time. We met as a group about twice a month at school to touch base with the students. We would answer questions and offer guidance, but other than that, everything was completed by the students in their own time.
As a teacher, I am so extremely proud of these students and of the work they completed. Way to go, guys!!!!! You made me proud and you made the school proud. You should be VERY proud of yourselves. I know that you will accomplish great things in your lives!!
Projects could be on any topic, but the students were encouraged to develop a project that could be of benefit to the community. I am proud to announce that we won the first and second place in the individual projects, and we won second and third place in the group projects. Winning 4 of the 6 places, our students were shining like the stars they are!
Here are some photos of the amazing projects completed by our students:
Winning second place in the group competition:
Methanogenesis: Creating Methane Gas from Bacteria.
Winning third place in the group competition:
Driving Down Air Resistance
Winning first place in the individual competition:
Green Roof Technology
Winning second place in the individual competition:
These projects may not have placed in the competition, but all of these were winners in my book!
And here is our group of fine and amazing students!!