Just before Spring Break, eight Westridge 8th Grade students competed at the Los Angeles County Science and Engineering Fair, held at the Pasadena Convention Center. The fair showcased the independent scientific studies of students from more than 465 different LA County schools and projects from nearly 900 student participants. This was the first year Westridge took part in the county fair, an idea suggested by a Westridge parent who helps judge the senior-level projects.
Eight members from the Class of 2020 presented projects at the fair:
- Brooke B.: Energy and Motion of Hot Wheel Cars (General Physics)
- Sophie C.: Magnetic Fields as an alternative GPS (Engineering Applications)
- Bella G.: Blood Splatter Analysis (General Physics)
- N’Dea G.: Energy Transfers in Kicking a Soccer Ball (General Physics)
- Phia H.: Ocean Absorption of Carbon Dioxide (Environmental Science)
- Liza P.: Automatic Dog Food Dispenser (Engineering Applications)
- Reese O.: Atwood Machine and Newton’s Second Law of Motion (General Physics)
- Abby Y.: Strength of Different Truss Bridge Designs (Engineering Applications)
Each participant designed and ran her own project based on a discipline of science that interested them. This process began as a part of the 8th Grade Science Capstone project course requirement in September. In November, eight students agreed to participate in the fair. They had to design an apparatus to collect data, graph the results, and prepare a presentation based on their findings. The girls also had to complete a thorough analysis of their project in a lab write-up and create a poster board summarizing the story of the project and what they discovered from it.
At the fair, the girls were interview throughout the day by judges ranging from employees of JPL, professors at Cal Tech, and science teachers. On Saturday, March 19, awards were given in each category in each division. Westridge was well represented at the ceremony.
Sophie C. received first place in the Engineering Application category for her work on using the magnetic field of the earth as a better GPS system, and is now eligible to take her project to the state-level competition at the end of May at the California Science Center. Sophie will compete amongst 1,000 participants across the state of California. N’Dea G., Brooke B., and Abby Y. received Honorable Mention for their project categories.
“I applaud all of our participants on their dedication and hard work throughout the year and representing our school,” said Middle School Science Teacher Rob Greene, who oversaw the projects.
Click here to see the complete list of LA County Science and Engineering awards.