Tis the season for science

Students spent all Friday morning presenting their latest findings on all things scientific in the Ford High School auditorium.

Students presented their classmates on topics like turtle shells, rabies, Glossophobia (fear of public speaking), Xeroderma Pigmentosum (sensitivity to the suns raise), the risks of smoking and much more!

Outside of the auditorium doors in the hallway was a science fair set up with students on hand to present to anyone and everyone who stopped by.

Pre-AP Biology teacher Vicki Coker gathered several students together for the symposium, giving them a chance to prepare the event, delegate tasks, and take responsibility for the science event.

“We tried it last year and it was a success. So I decided to try to make this an annual thing. It is a good time to keep kids doing something educational when you’re very close to a downtime like the holidays. It is very hard to keep them engaged and I believe this might keep them engaged the day before you leave on a holiday,” said Coker.

Coker admitted that while the symposium was not her original idea, the concept has been a big help in inspiring her and her students.

“Another teacher shared it with me. It has just been a real success and I couldn’t be more proud of these kids. They worked real hard in a short amount of time to get it together,” said Coker.

It took a week and a half to get the symposium together, which included class time and at-home prep.

One student after another presented for a maximum of three minutes and each one received high praise and cheers from their classmates in a setting that was much like a college lecture or a science convention.

“They really support each other. They are all very nervous. They do not like getting up and speaking in front of people so I use it also as a tool to help them learn to get up and speak in front of a group of people and maybe support issues, science issues, that may be of interest and hopefully it leads them to a direction that they will continue on,” said Coker.

Ninth – grader Nadia Leal gave a presentation on the effect of global warming on the great barrier reef.

“I learned how it affects the animals and how we can help the ecosystem and not pollute it as bad and how it has become now,” said Leal. “I’m kind of excited but really nervous. I don’t normally do this a lot. I think it is really interesting because … it actually is kind of a big deal for us. It is professional and it prepares us for what we’re doing to do when we get older.”
Ninth – Grader Alexis Ross did her research and a presentation on Dissociative Identity Disorder.

“I learned you can have eight to 13 personalities but the most ever recorded is about 100,” said Ross. “I am nervous, but I’m excited! It has been kind of stressful but it is actually quite interesting learning about this disorder and learning how they go through life.”

Ninth – Grader Lilly White did her presentation on the Alice in Wonderland Syndrome.

“It is when people can see that their objects are shifting and getting bigger or smaller or something shifting … body parts seem bigger or smaller. It is all visual. But you also get migraines, head trauma and epilepsy,” said White.

Ninth – Grader Alexander Hubbard did a presentation on himself and a condition that he has, showing people his skin on his neck and the movement of his joints.

“My topic was Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, something that affects me personally and 1.5 million people worldwide, so it is not a very well known disease. There are a few foundations trying to support it and they are doing a good job. So the way it affects people like me is that your skin is extra stretchy … you can stretch it one to two inches away from you. Joint pain is common and you can dislocate things pretty badly. If I were to cut, or get cut, a simple cut like a paper cut, it takes weeks to recover. The gene affected by this is your COL5A1 and COL5A2 gene and your 19th chromosome … so it affects the collagen and the connected tissue so my joints bend,” said Hubbard.

Ninth – Grader Brandon James, Alexander’s cousin and Panther Football player, presented on the Theory of Cryogenics.

“I went over why Cryogenics is important, the reason it can’t work, and who came up with the theory of freezing people. I figured out the reason we considered freezing people is because fish can send glucose to their body as an anti-freeze and keep the fish from freezing themselves. Scientists thought, ‘why not try this on humans,’ but figured it out it was impossible to freeze someone and bring them back to life after 10 minutes of freezing,” said James

James and Hubbard said that their research and presentations served as an opportunity to connect with their classmates as well as gain and maintain their support.

“That’s one thing I love about Quinlan. When I came here … I came from a school where I was picked on a lot. And Quinlan has been … cheering me on and I love it,” said James.