Panic over middle schooler’s science project

by Walter Olson on January 17, 2010

A lockdown and evaluation results, and now authorities are recommending that the student and his parents get counseling. The project in question was an empty half of a Gatorade bottle with some wires and other components, intended to work as a motion sensor; the school is a tech magnet school. [San Diego Union-Tribune, Greenfield, Alkon]

{ 6 comments }

1 Todd Rogers 01.17.10 at 12:38 pm

“Nope, this isn’t a threat – never was and never was intended to be. LETS GO AND SEE IF WE CAN FIND SOMETHING DANGEROUS AT THEIR HOUSE!!!”

2 no name guy 01.17.10 at 1:24 pm

Sounds like its the school officials that need the counseling. So boy, what’s this? Its a motion detector I built at home. Really, how does it work? Boy explains. Wow, that’s pretty good work. Let’s go show the electronics teacher.
End of story.

Instead its mass stupidity on the part of school, police and fire officials. Sheese, does any body have a working frontal cortex any more?

3 Bill Poser 01.17.10 at 5:19 pm

I think that they should indeed try to recover the costs of calling out the arson squad (is that what they call the bomb squad in San Diego?) and searching the student’s home: from the idiotic school officials and police officers who so badly mishandled this.

4 David Schwartz 01.18.10 at 5:04 pm

I agree, the student and his parents need counseling in how to choose schools with competent administration. I’d love to see a picture of the “device”, but I bet it’s going to look like a homemade motion detector and nothing like a bomb or dangerous device of any kind.

5 Bryan C 01.19.10 at 3:39 pm

Science is scary! Destroy it!

6 Robert 01.19.10 at 5:45 pm

Amazing! I can remember all the stuff I used to build when I was in grade school.

On a related note, I used to have to travel with home-built electronic devices on planes once a week or so. These were wire-wrapped circuit boards. I’m glad I no longer have to do that; it would probably not be worth the hassle today.

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