Using plywood, a leaf blower and other basic materials, 13-year-old Joey Chappuis created a hover craft as his science project.
“I was always into mechanical stuff,” he said. “It was really fun to make it, but it was a lot of experience because it popped five times. I had to figure out what to do and what not to do.”
His creation was on display Wednesday evening during the Carson City School District’s annual Science, Engineering, Technology and Math Night at Eagle Valley Middle School. The seventh-grader demonstrated his project by allowing both students and adults to take it for a ride.
“I can’t believe that sucker holds me,” said Eagle Valley Middle School Lee Conley as it lifted him into the air. “I weigh 210 pounds.”
Students displayed their science projects throughout the school, along with presentations from science and technology classes from Carson High School and a variety of businesses and activities from the community.
“It is a night where we celebrate how students and the community use science, technology, engineering and math in their careers and hobbies,” said Lisa Stocke-Koop, STEM Lab teacher at EVMS, who organizes the event. “The point of the evening is to open up the students’ minds to new opportunities for their future.”
Stocke-Koop, who was recently named Eagle Valley Middle School’s Teacher of the Year, said it also allows students to see what classes are available to them as they progress through the school system.
“I think it’s very exciting,” said Emily Marschall-Niswonger, 10, a Fritsch Elementary School fourth-grader. “There’s a lot of school stuff I want to see. And I’m really excited because I took first place in my school’s science fair.”
Jake Dudley, 12, showed states of matter, turning a solid fruit into a liquid, and dispersing smoothies. Alycia Jara, created an in-between matter, Oobleck.
“It’s a solid and a liquid,” she said. “When you put pressure on it, it’s a solid. But once you release that pressure, it’s a liquid.”
John Rupert, 13, created a Paiute tule decoy duck. While learning traditional arts, he also realized the engineering behind it.
“We calculated the density, which is mass divided by volume,” he explained. “The density of the duck is .032 grams and the density of water is 1 gram. That means it will float.”
Ben Contine, the school district’s community partnership coordinator, was happy with what he saw.
“It’s a great opportunity for the community, students and family to all come together and do what’s in the best interest of our kids,” he said.