March 8, 2016
PHOTO BY PAULA MULLER
Seventh-grader Ben Goodell with his science fair project “How Weather Conditions Affect PSI of a Football” at the St. Pius V Elementary School science fair.
BY BRIDGET TURCOTTE
LYNN — St. Pius V Elementary School seventh-grader Ben Goodell solved the deflategate controversy and scored the Outstanding Project Award at the school’s annual science fair.
After feeling deflated over accusations against the New England Patriots, Goodell took it upon himself to prove the team innocent.
“I wanted to prove that Tom Brady wasn’t guilty,” Goodell said.
Goodell, who took first place in last year’s fair, began his experiment with a properly-inflated football. He then exposed the ball to different weather conditions, including humidity, snow, wind chill, and cold and ice.
“Every time, it dropped 2 PSI,” he said. “The lowest PSI recorded during deflategate was 2 PSI under proper inflation. I had (the football) at proper inflation when I started.”
The project, “How Weather Conditions Affect PSI of a Football,” was displayed at the fair with a football, pump, pressure gauge and a tri-fold detailing Goodell’s work.
Goodell, no relation to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell — the man at the helm of the deflategate charges against Brady and the Patriots — said his admiration for the sport only added to his interest in the project. He currently plays as a quarterback for his flag football team and on the line in tackle football.
“We do the science fair every year for grade six and seven,” said Principal Paul D. Maestranzi. “We try to (have the students) answer an everyday question.”
Over recent years, the fair has shifted to focus on the importance of the actual experiment, rather than a term paper, Maestranzi said.
“It’s more tied in with current thinking,” he said. “They really do use scientific methods to get the results. There’s still that element. But, the real focus is on the experiment.
“I think some people think science is only in a laboratory. It’s really all around us all the time. That’s what gets kids hooked: relevance.”
After conducting an experiment, participating students write a paper on their experience. They put together a presentation for the fair and prepare a verbal report.
The annual Sixth and Seventh Grade Science Fair was held on Thursday, Feb. 25 and Friday, Feb. 26. Students presented a visual display and oral report to the judges Thursday afternoon. Thursday evening, family and friends attended the fair to view the projects.
Goodell was one of approximately 120 students who participated in the fair.
In total, eight St. Pius V students received the Outstanding Project Award: sixth graders Cody Huynh, Logan Petros, Noah Smith and Jake Thomas, and seventh graders Joseph Connelly, Jared Abkarian, Tracy Nguyen and Goodell.
Bridget Turcotte can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.