Friday, February 11, 2011

Poem for Friday and Proud Parent Blather

Sonnet 91
By William Shakespeare

Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,
Some in their wealth, some in their bodies' force,
Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill,
Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;
And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure,
Wherein it finds a joy above the rest:
But these particulars are not my measure;
All these I better in one general best.
Thy love is better than high birth to me,
Richer than wealth, prouder than garments' cost,
Of more delight than hawks or horses be;
And having thee, of all men's pride I boast:
Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take
All this away and me most wretched make.


Quickie, since I was out all of Thursday evening at Daniel's magnet program's senior research project presentations, and the ceremony afterward (plus a dessert buffet, though the kids never had time to get dinner since the presentations and judging ran over so they ordered pizza for the group). I would love to have the expertise to discuss in an intelligent manner the projects, which had titles like "Observing SH-SY5Y Morphological Response To Hypoosmotic and Hyperosmotic Mechanical Stress" -- I don't dare try even to type out the names of some of the biology projects, and the only thing I understood in the whole place was "Quantitative Evaluation of NFL Coaches Using Team On-Field Statistics." Daniel worked with my good friend Kay's husband on a project that ended up being called "Determining Optimal Lift Characteristics in the Development of a Rudimentary Rotorcraft" -- don't ask me to summarize the conclusions except that it involved logarithms!

All the more than 90 students who participated in the SRP (which is not a graduation requirement, though it does earn one a citation on the county magnet diploma) were given honorable mentions by a group of DC-area scientists.

This is the first-place project, "A Nanoscale Study of Structural and Electronic Transitions in Vanadium Dioxide." The student, who went to elementary school with my son and all the way through, worked with a Harvard physics professor.

The students didn't appear to take the certificates overly seriously.

The project displays were set up in the lunchroom/auditorium (the school also has a theater) where the judges walked around as students made oral presentations.

There was a speaker -- a University of Maryland student who graduated from the magnet program and has since worked in Japan and robotics labs in the U.S., whose brother is in this year's magnet graduating class -- then the overtired students were lined up for a group photo.

Here are the students politely saying cheese.

And here are the students leaping for joy that it's over!

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