News-Sun photo by CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY Angie Porter's 6th grade advanced science class hard at work. Chloe Fordham consults with Emily Bible.
click any photo to view this story's photo gallery
published: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Sixth-graders contemplate the future
Writer's note: The middle school County Science Fair takes place this week. Best in school has been established, now the best in the county is to be chosen. One hundred and five young people are entering projects -- which involve answering a question by using scientific method. Sebring Middle School teacher Angie Porter's sixth-grade advanced science class, average age 11, has the most participants. The News-Sun and the class sat down Wednesday and talked together.
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
SEBRING -- Forget rotary phones.
Angie Porter's sixth-grade science students wouldn't know one if they saw one. None of them remember life before push button cell phones -- or the world before computers, for that matter.
When a visitor recently asked them if their parents asked for their help in solving computer problems or fixing the remote, almost everyone raised their hand.
Curious, bright and energetic, the warm-hearted group joins in a lively discussion about science and change.
"Science helps everybody," Austin says. "You can look inside things now; before, nobody knew how to do it.
"Science is cool," adds Scott. "Math stays the same; science is always changing."
"You can't change things just over night," Dakota warns. "They are definitely happening; we just can't see them happening."
Orpheus agrees, "Science will always continue. It takes time to develop new inventions."
As to the future:
"We're going to discover new types of fish deep down in the sea," Morgan says.
"Medicine will become more effective," says Kailey. "Like today you can get shingles if you had chicken pox. We'll be able to stop that."
"Instead of money we'll have (embedded) chips to keep track," Emily says.
"A remote control to choose your own weather at your house," Chloe says.
"In time, this classroom will be different, " says Colbey. "The white board will be like a big iPad."
"Awesomes," all around.
"There will be new discoveries of disease and treasures," Victor says, " and we'll be much better getting into space."
"I don't think it will be so good," Paul says. "I think we'll have to put on masks to go outside and stay inside most of the time."
Briana agrees. She says, "We have to be more eco-friendly, otherwise no one will live to be 100. The poles are melting. We have to go slower with science. We have to take care."
"We need to make a better engine," Scott says, "one that balances horsepower with torque."
Someone says flying cars would be a big improvement -- there is so much room in the sky to drive, and at so many different levels. The idea does not meet a warm reception.
"Flying cars, floating traffic lights, it's not really different from cars. It might be a bad idea," Emily says.
"Flying cars are even more dangerous," Morgan agrees.
"If there were flying cars," says Lance, "you'd go faster with a normal car on the ground. The roads would be empty, everyone would be up in the air."
The students strongly believe outer space is our future.
From Moon settlements to colonies on Mars; from machines to create breathable air to space suits good enough to use on Mercury or Venus, the young people brimmed with excitement and ideas. For them, moving planets one day might even be possible.
"You never know what's next," says Robert. "Some day we might have Nike shoes that walk on water."
Emily gets the last words, "When we get old I think we'll be telling our kids how hard our life was and what we didn't have."
Small Banner Ads