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Deer Park 4th Grader Winner at BNL's Elementary Science Fair

Brendan Eising will be honored at a Suffolk County Legislature meeting next month.

Brendan Eising's project "Shake It Up" was a big hit at Brookhaven National Lab's Elementary Science Fair.
Brendan Eising's project "Shake It Up" was a big hit at Brookhaven National Lab's Elementary Science Fair.
Brendan Eising, a fourth grader at John F. Kennedy Intermediate School in Deer Park, recently won the Brookhaven National Lab's Elementary Science Fair for the fourth grade.

His project was entitled, Shake It Up. There were more than 500 projects submitted by more than 100 Suffolk County schools at the BNL Science Fair for grades K-6.  

Brendan will be honored at the June 4 Suffolk County Legislature meeting for his achievement.  

Here is a synopsis of his winning project:

Brendan's hypothesis was that as people get older, their hands get shakier and they can't move or use them as well as younger people because older people tend to get more diseases like Parkinson's and arthritis as their bodies get older.  

To test his hypothesis, Brendan built an electrical circuit maze and had his subjects move a loop wand through a wire maze while being timed with the iPhone Stopwatch app.  He made a lot of curves in the maze to see if the subjects had steady enough hands to get through the maze or if their hands were too shaky.  If the subjects touched the wire with the loop wand, they completed the circuit and a buzzer went off.  

Brendan tested three people, three times each in each age group of kids, teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s.  He recorded how fast they got through the maze and how many errors they made by touching the wire and having the buzzer go off.  He initially thought that kids would have the lowest times and least amount of errors, but his research showed the kids and teens actually had the most errors and longest times--which he concluded must be due to the younger people still learning to use their muscles.  

He found that people from their 20s to 50s remained fairly constant, and people from their 60s to 80s had a sharp increase in the number of errors and amount of time it took them to get through the maze.  

Brendan said that this research could be useful in testing people who use their hands a lot like electricians, surgeons, and dentists because you wouldn't want someone putting sharp things in your mouth when they have shaky hands!

Info and photo courtesy of Jill Perry-Eising

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