16th Feb 2002, 05:36 PM
Living Legend (and moderator)
Join Date: Nov. 21st, 2000
Location: New York
boys and girls,keep them AOL cd's !
kid had a cool way to use them for good.
Olympic kid: 7-year-old's invention earns trip to Utah
Friday, February 15, 2002
By James L. Smith
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
Imlay City - When 7-year-old Thomas-Jay Burgess noticed light streaming through a window and reflecting off a compact disc last year, he got a brainstorm for his science fair project.
Using tin foil, an old satellite dish and a bunch of American Online promotional compact discs, he fashioned a solar pizza oven.
While the solar oven did very well at the Lapeer Science Fair, the best was yet to come.
That invention won Thomas-Jay and his mother, Diana Burgess, a free weekend at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City through a national competition sponsored by the National Energy Foundation, with grants from Johnson Controls Inc. and the United States Energy Association.
The two left today and are scheduled to return Monday night.
"I'm so thankful we're going this year, after 9/11," said Diana Burgess. "The spirit is going to be great there, especially this year, and I'm proud to be an American."
"My friends think it's really awesome and cool," Thomas-Jay said. A member of an advanced multi-age first- and second-grade class at Weston Elementary School, Thomas-Jay has excelled at math and science, his mother said.
Thomas-Jay was one of three students and one teacher nationwide who won trips to the Olympics through the "Igniting Creative Energy Challenge," competition.
According to an itinerary supplied by the National Energy Foundation, mom and son will attend bobsled, women's super G and women's hockey competitions this weekend.
And leaving no moment unfilled, there are tickets to a Smash Mouth concert.
An 11-member judging panel, which included educators from science, gifted and talented programs, music and math, a professional artist, environmental experts and NEF staff selected the winners from about 600 entries from the U.S. and Canada.
Diana Burgess said that the cooking time for the solar oven was longer than a conventional one, but that it worked as her son had intended.
The oven normally reached a temperature of about 130 degrees, but on really hot summer days it got up to 160 degrees, she said.
Thomas-Jay's oven cooked four, small round pizzas.
"We ate two and gave two to the dog," he said.