Abe (Abraham) Harris is currently a 4th grade student at Lacy Elementary. His favorite thing to do is to play football. On his flag football team he plays center. One of his favorite things to eat is Gouda cheese.
When thinking about what initially got him interested in science Abe credited his parents, but also noted that he feels that when he engaged in science in school it is more interactive than math and reading which makes it fun for him. He is especially interested in physics and enjoys thinking about how it impacts sports.
Abe has participated in science and engineering fairs for two years now. The first year he participated he completed a team project with a friend. The focus of this project was understanding which type of paper airplane flew better. In his second year, he engaged with an individual project. This time he tested whether new or used golf balls bounce and roll better. He was surprised to learn that the used balls rolled farther and believes that this is likely due to the dimples filling with dirt, making them more smooth and ultimately improving rolling.
In both year’s Abe was able to compete at both this local school fair and then move on to compete at the regional science and engineering fair for region 3a. When asked what he was able to learn from the science and engineering fair experience, Abe told us,
“I learned that I can learn from mistakes, if you look at your project again you can look at the mistake and see what you can do next time.”
Reflecting on his experience at the regional fair Abe noted that he waited for a very very long time for a judge. However, once he completed the judging process he was able to look at other people’s projects and then go to the auditorium for the awards ceremony to see who won and who participated. His favorite part was getting to see other people’s projects and he enjoyed that many of the kids there were older.Abe felt that the hardest part of the fair was talking to the judges. He noted,
“The hard thing was that you only got one time talking to the judge and you couldn’t try it again.
The judges were people like my mom and they would ask you how you did your project and what was your question. It was a little bit scary because they would rate how good you did and if they liked it or not.”
When Abe grows up he wants to combine his passions for football and science to be a football coach. He feels that he can use science to make decisions about strategies and the best approaches to the game. He would apply science to help him make decisions like, “Could I use a different quarterback to throw the ball farther or should I punt it to put the other team in bad field position?”
We asked Abe to provide 1 piece of advice for a young person who is interested in Science or Engineering. His advice was,
“If you figure out something and you think it is correct, but the judges say that it is not correct, you can learn from your mistakes and that is really the whole point of science.”
In thinking about who can get involved and “do” science Abe commented, “Anyone can do science because if you are a little child learning how to walk, you are learning how to do something which is science. If you are my age and you are learning to throw a football then that is science also. So you can really learn how to do anything. Mostly learning a lot of things is science.”