Kevin Stone, an 8th grade student at Carrithers Middle School, shared his experience as an LRSEF participant and Amazon Award winner with LRSEF intern Eddy Zhong.
Q: Can you tell me what it was like to participate in the virtual KY-SEF? What challenges did you face? What did you like or dislike about it? What was different from your expectations (if you participated in KY-SEF previously, how did it compare)?
A: I was more comfortable and confident because I was at my own house presenting….[but] I disliked how hard it was to get my project across to the judges because we weren’t in person. It was more important to talk well about it. I was expecting them to want to view my project more rather than just listening to me talk.
Q: Do you think you will be participating in science & engineering fairs again this year, and why? What kinds of challenges do you expect when you think about changes at school due to COVID-19?
A: Yes because I want to get the experience and I like the opportunity to win prizes….I expect due to COVID-19 that my science fair will be more rehearsed because I’ll have more time if we do online classes. It would be harder if I did a social project like I did last year due to distancing. If it’s not a social project it may be a little easier.
Q: What else can LRSEF do to better support you?
A: I think every kid – like the ones who didn’t get picked – should get feedback on what would have pushed them closer to winning. Feedback gives people hope that they can win next year.
Q: What advice would you give to other students who are facing challenges when it comes to doing their STEM research?
A: First, do a project that you know you’re going to be really into or that you like. For example, I did a project on gaming and I like gaming so it was fun for me….Also, don’t get lazy and act like it’s okay if I don’t do it, it’s not going to affect my grade that much. You’re really losing the opportunity for schools to see you and see how good you are at something or just to see that you can be dedicated to something.
Q: How do you think the science fair has helped further your education/career goals? What valuable skills did you learn from conducting research?
A: I have learned that when you’re conducting research, make sure the way you’re going to collect your data and how you’re going to get the answer from the data is the same throughout the whole entire research.