The Judge

By Shelby Egan

Working as an intern in the environmental field has its perks, like being able to learn about how to protect the earth and gaining insight on how to make a difference in my local community, but this week’s task was different.   I volunteered as a science fair judge for 7th grade students in Chicago.  Although I am not a scientist, I learned many new things from these students that I never knew about in middle school.  Cool projects included testing which type of water (distilled, bottled, or tap) left one’s hair softer after washing it, and learning which type of cat food is easiest for a cat to digest (don’t worry no real cats were involved!).  Other intriguing projects included testing how temperature of water affects the rate at which an Alka Seltzer tablet dissolves. The most interesting thing about hearing about each student’s project was to see how unique each experiment was.  No two projects were the same, and students were able to tap into their creative, scientific interests and learn something new!  So the next time you have a science fair or a school project that involves the environment, explore your favorite interests and create a new experiment!

Shelby Egan is a student volunteer in the EPA’s Air and Radiation Division in Region 5, and is currently obtaining her Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She has a passion for protecting natural resources, cities she’s never been to and cooking any recipe by The Pioneer Woman.

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