By Patricia Keller WEST MILFORD Andrew Romano is heading to Space Camp. The Paradise Knoll sixth grader won the grand prize from the West Milford Township all-district science fair last week with his clever invention, "The Sock Pocket."
The Geography Bee contestants competed for the district title and trophy. Westbrook fourth grade student Marie Parkin took home the title by being the only competitor to answer all eight questions correctly.
Andrew's invention wasn't the only inspired design of the night, a night that paired the Science Fair and the Geography Bee, which took place at the high school last week.
According to Peg Codey, the districts science supervisor, the grade 5 Science Investigations and Grade 6 Invention Convention contests were open to all fifth and sixth grade students in the school district. Participants received information on protocol for conducting their experimental research, including a $50 spending limit for materials for their projects.
The judging team consisted of science and mathematics supervisors, principals, retired math and science teachers, board of education members and retired science supervisors who volunteered their time for the event. Judges were given guidelines on which to judge the projects, with a possible total of 100 points.
This is the second year for awarding the grand prize of NASA's Space Camp. Last years Space Camp winner, Paradise Knolls Kaitlyn Klosz, was on hand to talk about the wonderful experience she had at the space camp.
Sixth grade awards Andrew's winning invention of "The Sock Pocket" was cleverly designed with the needs of the everyday family in mind. There are several pockets for sets of clean socks and another section for sets of dirty socks. The dirty sock pocket section is removed from the hanger and the socks are machine washed right in the mesh pockets. From there, the now clean socks are returned to the hanger still in the sock pocket and ready for use, eliminating the need to sort and match socks. The dirty socks are then put into the other pockets that were formerly used for clean socks; rotating pockets for a sanitary, efficient system.
The second place winner was Danielle Durante of Paradise Knoll School for her invention, Ride & Slide, a safety improvement on the current design of the common playground zip-line. Danielles improvements slow the rider at the end of the line as opposed to the existing sudden-stop design that frequently causes injuries.
Third place went to Ryan Jordan of Westbrook School for his invention The Sound Case: a sound-dampening, eco-friendly, decorative case to put a cell phone into for places and situations where cell phone noise is not welcome.
The second and third place winners each received a Kindle Fire, which were donated by board of education president David Richards and trustee Donna Richards.
Fifth grade winners The theme was "Science Investigations" for the fifth graders. Amanda Roth of Apshawa School won first place with her investigation, Accelerating Objects Using Magnets. Marshall Hill Schools Lydia Souran took second place with Little Shop of Horrors Plant Growth, and Imani Greene of Apshawa School placed third with her project, Friction and Lubrication.
First, second and third place winners for grade 5 received a science kit gift.
Science for all Science teachers from throughout the district provided exhibitions throughout the evening as the student projects were being judged. Visitors were invited to attend demonstrations such as Astronomy by Cathy Mellino Murphy from West Milford High School, Microscope Explorations by Michelle Lugerner and Arthur Joecks from Macopin; Sandy Hook Specimen Display by Ed Madura from the high school; Waves, Sound & Light by George Warren from the high school; Chemistry Magic by Norma Bozenmayer from the high school, Mary Bozenmayer, and Abigail Alexander from Macopin; and Penny Palooza by Kaitlyn Forsythe from Macopin and Mary Duffy from Marshall Hill.