Sei sulla pagina 1di 1

Mad scientist

February 2, 2018

Pinedale Roundup Page 3

Common problem is solved at Science Fair

Roundup Page 3 Common problem is solved at Science Fair Nicholas Primanis-Erickson, a Pinedale High School

Nicholas Primanis-Erickson, a Pinedale High School sophomore, is shown with his science project before attending the Southwest Re- gional Junior and Senior Division competition, Jan. 25, at Western Wyo- ming Community College in Rock Springs.

By Holly Dabb

hdabb@pinedaleroundup.com

PINEDALE – A snowy ride in the fam- ily car inspired Pinedale High School stu- dent Nicholas Primanis-Erickson to design an award-winning solution. On Jan. 25, he won “Best Project in Fair” at the Southwest Regional Junior and Se- nior Division Science Fair.

“I was riding in the car with my dad and I

couldn’t see well past the snow,” Primanis- Erickson said. As the headlights shine on the snow, the eye focuses on the light that is

reflected making it difficult to see the road or potentially animals. Primanis-Erickson called the phenomenon a shortcoming to “mammalian vision.” Primanis-Erickson used his long-time passion for photography to come up with

a solution.

“I knew how polarizing lenses work,”

Primanis-Erickson said, which inspired a

solution.

However, he needed to test his theory.

A lot of students competing have an ex-

periment already tested in a lab, but Prima- nis-Erickson’s project was different. He had a theory and he needed a way

to prove his methodology. That meant he needed to simulate a snowstorm and the human eye. Using a basic aquarium, Primanis-Er- ickson cut up thousands of small pieces of

foil to simulate the reflective properties of snowflakes. He then rounded the corners with Playdough to prevent drifts from form- ing, and covered them with foil. A net was placed over the aquarium to allow the free flow of air. Add two hair dryers, and he had

a simulated snowstorm. Primanis-Erickson then added a back- drop outside the aquarium that pictured a road with trees on either side. He set up a camera on the opposite side of the aquar- ium. He then simulated headlights using reading lamps and photographed his storm with and without polarizing lenses over the lamps. “I was shocked when it worked,” Pri- manis-Erickson said. “The photos of the backdrop were much more clear with the lenses.”

of the backdrop were much more clear with the lenses.” After winning Best Project, Nicho- las

After winning Best Project, Nicho- las Primanis-Erickson is awarded a trophy and scholarship. He will go on to compete at the state sci- ence fair in Laramie, March 5-8.

After winning his best project honors, Primanis-Erickson goes on the road with his show. He will be among the hundreds of Wyoming students who will showcase their original projects during the Wyoming State Science Fair, March 6-8, at the University of Wyoming. Students will display their science, tech- nology, engineering and mathematics re- search for the opportunity to qualify for two prestigious science competitions. For students in grades 9-12, the International Science and Engineering Fair, in Phoenix, Ariz., is an opportunity to meet student-sci- entists from throughout the world and the chance to win prizes of up to $75,000. Primanis-Erickson has his eyes on the prize money. “If I win the money, I can develop my technology for the future,” he said. His goal is to advance the theory for use on driverless vehicles. Automated cars that use sensors for control cannot be used in the snow. For the same reason human eyes can’t see past the snow, sensors detect an “object” and the vehicle stops. “I’d like to go to nationals this year,” Pri- manis-Erickson said. He called his project “real science.” “I discovered a new problem, found a solution and developed the methodology to show how well my technology worked.” n

STREET TALK

What do you get out of volunteering?

STREET TALK What do you get out of volunteering? “It’s nice to help the library with

“It’s nice to help the library with the different projects and nice to help the children.”

Riley Murdock

projects and nice to help the children.” Riley Murdock “Giving back to the community; I was

“Giving back to the community; I was born and raised here, graduated from Pinedale High School. It’s good to give back to a community that has given so much to me.”

Lesta Winer

to a community that has given so much to me.” Lesta Winer “A deeper sense of

“A deeper sense of community.”

Keri Cross

“There’s a difference between vol- unteering and voluntold; I get told what to do.”

Clay Olson

“The satisfaction of giving back to the community; that’s really what it’s about.”

Carrie Long

“I grew up in a family that is very community-minded and it’s impor- tant to give back.”

Kenna Tanner

In case you were wondering … … How was Special Olympics started?

It all began in the 1950s and early 1960s, when Eunice Kennedy Shriver saw how unjustly and unfairly people with intellectual disabili- ties were treated. The sister of President John F. Kennedy, Shriver revealed their sister had an intellectual disability in the popular Saturday Evening Post article titled “Hope for the Retarded.” She also saw that many children with intellectual disabilities didn’t have a place to play and decided to take action. She planned a summer day camp for young people with intellectual disabilities in her own backyard. The goal was to learn what these children could do in sports and other activities – and not dwell on what they could not do. She directed the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation and her vision and drive for justice grew into the Special Olympics movement. Vol- unteer counselors were recruited from area high schools and colleges with the goal of having a one-to-one instructional ratio with campers.

IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING

Let us know what you’re wondering. Email editor@pinedaleroundup.com or call (307) 367-2123.