Providence/St. Mel school has many reasons to sing the praises of its students. This year one of their outstanding students, David Houston, came in fourth place in the science fair. Science Chair Kevin McGrath was so impressed with David’s project the additional fourth place award was included.
Houston, who is 12 years old, attends Providence/St. Mel School on Chicago’s West Side. David’s 6A science project was titled, “The Amount of Voltage from Two Different Kinds of Metals.”
AWN: David why do you like science?
Houston: I like to make things and see how they work and then explain it.
AWN: What part of science interests you the most?
Houston: Electronics and electrical procedures
AWN: What type of hobbies do you have?
Houston: I like various video games and playing music.
AWN: What instruments do play?
Houston: I play the piano and drums. I have been playing the piano since I was three years old, and I’ve been playing drums since I was eight years old.
AWN: Who has helped you develop your talents?
Houston: My mother (Danielle Miller) and my grandparents (Darlene & Howard Sandifer). They all help me a lot. My grandpa helps a lot because he is a musician, too, and he always supports me. My grandmother helps me with my posters and getting all the facts I need for my projects. She helps me understand the business side of being a musician. My mother is always, always there for me. Sometimes I have to stay up late to finish homework, and she always stays with me to make sure I complete my projects.
AWN: What has been your best vacation?
Houston: Going to Orlando, Florida every year, and I love going to Universal Studios.
AWN: What do you want to be?
Houston: I want to be a animation designer. I already know what college I want to attend. It is Full Sail Real World Education, located in Orlando. I know that Full Sail is the number one media arts college, and people who are interested in films and video game design attend this school.
AWN: Tell me about the science project you won the award for?
Houston: The science experiment was important because getting electricity is starting to be a problem in the world. If I can get enough energy to heat up lamps, I could take lots more of those metals and light up many houses. This experiment is also good because instead of wasting spare parts that you have, you could heat them up and get even more electricity. With lots of people doing this, we could solve he world’s energy crisis.
AWN: What materials did for the project?
Houston: I used two broken flower pots, metals such as copper, zinc, aluminum and silver. I also used a propane torch to heat up the metals and an MV reader and leads and clamps. [MV reader stands for Mill Volt; it tells you how many volts of electricity you’re getting].
AWN: How did you make this work?
Houston: First, you get the apparatus made out of two almost identical broken flower pots. Clamp the flower pots together and slide the two metals in. You get two leads that go to an MV reader. Take a propane torch and heat the two different metals. You look at the meter to see if you get any voltage and then repeat the whole process over, but heat the metals at a different temperature.
I think that with different metals it is going to be a different amount of voltage because the metals are being matched up with other different kinds of metals. The hypothesis: It will be possible to heat up two different kinds of metals with a propane torch and get voltage from them by hooking it up to an MV reader.