I have spent my most enjoyable times designing, fabricating, modeling and studying. I’ve said there are two limits placed upon me. First I will not make atomic bombs and second I will not do brain surgery. Everything else in this world is fair game to investigate and work with. I have had a shop of some kind since I was 9 years old, starting with a converted wood shed, and have worked on projects since before then.
In the process of living this life I have acquired two college degrees, one in psychology and the other in general studies. My technical expertise is in communications and electronics in which I acquired the status of Chief Warrant Officer in the Army and Senior Field Engineer with General Dynamics Corporation. Throughout my career I’ve worked with many people, various pieces of equipment, and systems in many situations. These include taking care of honey buckets to setting a 60-foot pole the old fashion way. Yes, at 77 years old I have a current project and I hope to finish it before I run out of time. If not someone else will carry on with it, and it will end up on the market like other designs I came up with.
This mathematics and science project award is designed to catch those young people who have not limited themselves to what is expected. Rather it is to generate curiosity and interest in something out of the ordinary in either one or both of these fields. Knowing from experience that this life is such a fantastic endeavor for all of us, catching a growing mind when it is young will change the individual forever. The award for doing a bang-up job, whether you are 15 years old or 18 years old, whatever is accomplished will cause your chest to grow by at least five inches.
The judges will look at the complexity of the project; the details that you have acquired; the technicality, and explanation of what is being described; and the thought process used to develop your conclusions.
An example of what I would consider a winning project is like the one that MIT student Oliver Yeh did while on vacation summer in 2009: Yeh designed a mechanism using a $35 camera, a recorder, a cell phone, and a balloon to take pictures of the earth as it ascended to 90,000 feet. He re-captured the unit some 20 miles from where it lifted off.