Last month, 6 high school students at Leadership Public School in Oakland, California were announced as the grand prize winners of the Get Real competition. This is their story…
Leadership Public School (LPS) College Park in Oakland, California is a public charter school providing high quality, college-focused education to students who would not have access to it otherwise. According to their website, 85% of students at LPS will be the first in their family to attend college. Like any other school, LPS has many different clubs for students to join and increase their learning before and after school hours. One club, the Geek Squad consists of 6 students.
The Geek Squad team of 6 came across the CK-12 Foundation Get Real competition a few months ago and thought that they would take a stab at it. They had no clue what math or science concept they could apply to the real world, but were determined to figure something out.
After a few weeks of Geek Squad meetings and intense brainstorming, the team decided to work with the chemistry concept, catalysts, a science concept they all found interesting.
The team decided to recreate a rocket belt (something they saw in their history class) using hydrogen peroxide and silver plates (the catalysts). They discovered, that with their catalysts, the hydrogen peroxide would separate into water and oxygen. They designed their jet pack to push the oxygen through the top to create steam and lift the jet pack off the ground.
They spent over a month performing the experiment, perfecting it and packaging it into a video to share with the world.
In an interview with the head of the Geek Squad team, Cristian said “It was very rigorous, difficult and very stressful.” They actually considered dropping out of the competition because they didn’t think they were going to meet the deadline! Thank goodness they didn’t!
The team took first place out of hundreds of submissions from around the world for their creative presentation of the science concept of catalysts. Not only did they win the bragging rights of being the grand prize winners of the very first CK-12 Get Real competition, but they also won their school a class set of 25 electronic devices of their choosing (iPads, Chromebooks, Kindles, etc.) The devices will aid in classroom learning to help get these lucky high school students prepped for college.
We asked Cristian what advice he had to offer to future Get Real participants. He said, “Don’t give up! If you feel like you won’t acheive it, you WILL acheive it! If you put so much hard work and dedication into your work, you’ll do it. I know you will.”
Congratulations to the Geek Squad of LPS, Oakland, California!
See their science concept submission here!