Orange County Branch Newsletter
Foothill Ranch Science Fair
Tom Wheeler, Public Works Director and City Engineer of Lake Forest
Did you know that Double Bubble bubble gum retains its flavor longer than other brands on the market? Or that a temperature drop in the weather can have a measureable effect on the air pressure of a football? From taste to “Deflate Gate”, wind turbines to better mouse traps, the Foothill Ranch Elementary School Science Fair had exhibits and experiments for everyone to enjoy. The School requested ASCE to provide judges for the event so naturally I ignored the ASCE request and went on with my busy day. But it nagged at me and a week later I committed to actually volunteering. It was a good first step for me and like most volunteer opportunities it feels great to give back to a worthwhile cause. As I tried to talk myself out of volunteering I realized that promoting science is a worthwhile cause and who better to help further the cause than engineers? It was so much fun to interview each student trying to discover if they actually did the work or their parents put it all together! I was so impressed with the number of really smart kids who know a whole lot more than I did in 6th grade. I met a 6th grader who tried to roll a marble around a loop on a track. He walked me through each step of his calculations to determine what height he would need to drop the marble from. He explained to me how angular momentum, friction, and potential energy worked in the rolling marble but he couldn’t figure out how to calculate the loss from vibrations of the track. That’s the point where I gave him my highest score for the day. He wants to be a physics teacher when he grows up. The future is bright, and the meetings I missed that day at work still took place without me. I’m still just as busy, but I got to help another generation with a very small step of encouragement. So please take advantage of some of the upcoming volunteer opportunities to help a worthy cause, you may really enjoy it. Attached is a picture of Yoshiki Ooka, one of the many participants in the Foothill Ranch School Science Fair.