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Students Marvel in a World of Science

March 01, 2000|JOHNATHON E. BRIGGS

Angela Bronson's third-grade class couldn't get enough static electricity. For nearly 30 minutes, the Balboa Magnet Elementary students huddled around the Van de Graaf generator, eagerly awaiting their chance to touch the silver, dome-shaped device and witness that miracle of science: strands of hair standing on end.

"It tickles," said 9-year-old Mandy Yoshida as her hair floated 5 inches above her head, to the delight of her giggling classmates. "I'm having a bad hair day," she said.

The generator was one of several demonstrations and hands-on experiments on display Tuesday at the Boeing Student Science Fair 2000. The three-day event was created six years ago by Boeing employees at the Rocketdyne Propulsion and Power facility to spark interest in the sciences among students and show them the practical application of scientific principles.

Organizers said the three-day fair, the first community event held at the new Boeing Leadership and Learning Center, is expected to draw more than 800 students from area elementary and high schools by the time it ends Thursday.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Friday March 3, 2000 Valley Edition Metro Part B Page 3 Zones Desk 1 inches; 32 words Type of Material: Correction
Science fair--A photo caption published Wednesday gave the incorrect school for three students who attended a science fair at the Boeing facility in Canoga Park. The students attend the San Jose Highly Gifted Magnet School.

"The next generation of rocket scientists has to come from somewhere," said engineer Rob Mawer, who has helped coordinate the fair since its inception. "We figured students could benefit from more exposure to science."

Surrounded by the rocket engines that launched Apollo and the space shuttle, hundreds of students navigated the conference room filled with demonstrations on electricity, magnetism, light, sound and friction.

Boeing engineers were on hand to guide the students through the exhibits using beakers and mirrors, magnets and plasma globes to pique student curiosity.

"This is cool," said 8-year-old Raymon Pahayo as he stared at a photo of himself taken with a "Therma Cam," an infrared imaging device. "My nostrils are green."

Although he doesn't aspire to become a rocket scientist like some of his classmates, he said concepts he learned Tuesday will aid his career as a professional hockey player.

"When there's less friction, the ice is easier to skate on," he said.

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