Thursday, March 19, 2009

ScienceFair storytime

"Somebody should give those guys with the music a good -- !"

It's Science Fair Week on the OhmsBlog! Yesterday's post is available here.

You'd think after my previous anecdotes about the Canada-Wide Science Fair that I was always the victim of other people's shenanigans. Unfortunately that wasn't always the case.

This story is another one that occurred during project setup in '98. Since I had already been to a CWSF in '97, by that point I was more experienced as to how the fair worked. The previous year, some of the Computer Technology exhibitors had flashy animated demonstration videos and techno music playing loudly on their computers. I don't know if this was supposed to attract TV reporters or influence judges, but it annoyed me immensely. This was a science fair, not a trade show, and I thought that the eye candy distracted observers (and other exhibitors, for that matter) from the real reason that we were there: the science.

Fast-forward back to setup day in 1998. I was sitting at my project's designated booth. All of a sudden I heard loud music coming from a project that was a couple of aisles down. "Great," I thought, "More flashy eye candy this year." I turned to the kid who was setting up beside me and voiced my displeasure with the noise coming from that project.

The kid beside me was from Edmonton. As it turned out, the group project that was making all the racket was also from Edmonton. My comments subsequently sent my neighbour scurrying over to his fellow members of the Edmonton contingent to tell them what I had just said. Even worse, I found out later that the purpose of their project was to build an amplifier and that the music was a legitimate part of their demonstration.



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