Once again this year, Ron Raleigh and I judged Middle and High School Science projects at the North Eastern Ohio Science and Engineering Fair held at Cleveland State University. Every time we attend this Fair and talk to all these bright young people, I am encouraged about the future. I am extremely confident that the problems of our generation will be solved by the next.
We made two observations about the 29 plastic presentations we reviewed:
First: 5 of the 29 papers we reviewed were presented by Lake Ridge Academy Students, a full 17% of our plastics total. I believe this can in part be credited to the PlastiVan program that we sponsored there last year.
Second: Many of the plastics presentations dwelt on the negative aspects of plastics. This is certainly an indication that our Society of Plastics Engineers has much more work to do to get our young people to understand that plastics are a benefit to society and are only a problem when abandoned into the environment. We need to promote the message – Reuse, Re-purpose and Recycle.
I hope many of our Cleveland Members will join us at our Awards Night this coming May 13th to meet our Science Fair winners, review their papers and encourage them to continue their interest in plastics. I hope you will all take the opportunity to extend your congratulations to:
1st Place Winner: Stephen Sun a student at Hawken Upper School in Gates Mills, OH. His presentation was on: “Polymer Based Modification on Peristaltic Locomotion of a Modular Mesh-based Robot”.
2nd Place Winner: Carly Justice a student at Firestone High School in Akron, OH. Her presentation was titled: “Recycling Plastics in Lightweight Concrete: Reducing Global Waste”.
3rd Place Winner: Charles Pafford a middle school student at Incarnate Word Academy in Parma Heights, OH. His presentation was on: Materials and Design Optimization for Fused Deposition Modeling Application of Vehicle Suspension Parts.
It is very gratifying to see results from the investment the Cleveland Section is making in the future of our industry. Please consider donating to our Education Fund and helping us continue and expand our educational efforts. Please contact me or our Treasurer, John Sovis for more information on how to support our future Plastics Engineers.