Science/Medicine
5:32 pm
Wed March 16, 2011

Metro Detroit students compete for science and engineering honors

Students from 143 Detroit area schools competed in the Metro Detroit Science and Engineering Fair Wednesday.

Almost 1400 middle and high school students displayed their projects at Detroit’s Cobo Center. Students from Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb county schools showed off research projects in 13 categories, ranging from computer science to zoology.

Fair organizers say participation in the fair is trending upward, and participation from Detroit Public Schools students shot up dramatically this year.

Jonathan Walker is a senior at Detroit’s Mumford High School. His project happens to be timely: a look at whether coastal wind farms could affect a tsunami wave. He rigged up some twelve-volt fans to create a “wave pond,” made some calculations and scaled up his results.

Walker’s conclusion: “It’s possible for us to have a wind farm along the coast that would dissipate a tsunami wave…but it’s not practical.”

Fair Director Tim Fino says display at Cobo makes him feel “very positive” about the future.

“Those kids are the ones that are gonna be paying my Social Security. I want to do everything I can to make sure that they’ve got a good background, that they know about the science fields, because eventually that’s where the money’s going to be.”

The fair’s top winners will get a chance to compete at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles later this year.