Welcome to the 57th International Science and Engineering Fair in very international Indianapolis, Indiana. After arriving by jet plane, we took the five Connecticut finalists to the exhibition hall to set up their projects. Each adult was assigned to a student; I, of course, to Drew. Jonathan, Jason, and Alex were almost instantaneously finished. Each had a completed board – Jonathan and Jason were actually printed on one large page and affixed to the board. Drew had decided to increase the size of his board, and also wanted to include some new information that he had after the project was shipped. His initial “affixing” of the pages was somewhat disheveled. It was not asthetically pleasing. I helped him reorganize so there was a logical and attractive flow. He had to reprint several pages due to spelling mistakes.
Pratishka was busy reassembling as well. Choosing almost every color of the rainbow, she affixed her pages to very colored paper. It had a fun, but jumbled feel to it. I think it works well and it matches her perky personality. Sandy and Pratishka were struggling on how to affix the two boards together, but I quickly disassembled a booth so we could have some clean material to lay the project down on and folded some cardboard to a structurally appropriate form, taped it with duct tape and finished the setup.
Message? Students do things in very different ways. Each will have a finished product – the way they got there was very different. Drew’s procrastinating tendencies were actually rationalized based on what we had done the previous week in the lab.