Science fair puts students to the test

Photo courtesy of Highland Park ISD

Pinocchio's Arm, rockets and Rube Goldberg experiments were among the entertainment for judges Tuesday at Highland Park School.

The Highland Park Science Fair has gone on for several years now. After 600 entries last year, the school decided to narrow entries down to 6th through 12th graders who are in honors classes.

"We tested the ability to detect a lie by applying pressure to the arms," Highland Park Bree Hobbs said. "When someone is telling the truth, the pressure on the arms- they're able to focus on it. And, so, the pressure- they're able to hold their arms up and resist it. But when they lie, they drop their arms because the focus relinquishes from their arms and into the brain."

Physics students were required to put together Rube Goldberg projects.

The community was invited to judge the projects, along with employees from Bell Helicopter, Pantex and the Texas Tech Pharmacy School. Projects were judged on creativity, research and presentation.

"With the projects and the latitude that they have to come up with their ideas and test their ideas and do it in something that interests them, you know, then they're going to get excited about it," Bell Helicopter Employee Dale Fincke said. "If they can get excited about it and learn something, then maybe they'll get excited to learn the next something."

Having these employees judge the science fair was no coincidence. Highland Park District Coordinator for Science Michael Hayes said these people were asked to participate in hopes of inspiring the kids to continue learning.

"We want them to be out here to see what our kids are doing and the extra effort they put into it. We want to make sure our kids also have that opportunity to talk to those judges, where they get the opportunity to visit a little but about what they did and get some questions back from those people."

Middle school and high school projects were judged separately. First, second and third place received ribbons, as did honorable mention. Best In Show awarded trophies to the individual or every member of the winning team.