Science fair winner finds uniform interest in physics


March 24, 2002|By Rosalie Falter | Rosalie Falter,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

INSPIRATION FOR a science project can come from the most unusual of places. Dan Ritz, a ninth-grader at North County High School, was getting dressed when he got his idea.

A starting goalie for his high school's junior varsity lacrosse team, Dan was getting ready for a game when he told his father, Kevin Ritz, he got very hot while playing. Noticing that Dan wore a black shirt under his uniform, his father suggested he wear a white one instead. This led to a discussion of how color can make the difference in Dan's comfort.

To prove his father was right, Dan entered an experiment into his school's science fair in January and called it, "Why That's Hot and Why That's Not."

FOR THE RECORD - An article in the Anne Arundel edition of The Sun on March 24 omitted the name of one of the North County High School students who were named winners at the recent Anne Arundel Regional Science Fair and Engineering Fair. Katie Moler, a ninth-grader, won first place in the engineering category. Also, the names of Christopher Booth and Katie Kosack were misspelled. The Sun regrets the errors.

Dan was one of the students at North County High School who earned a 92 percent grade or better and moved on to regional competitions held this month at Halsey Field House at the Naval Academy. Three hundred forty students from Anne Arundel and Queen Anne's counties competed in the 2001-2002 Anne Arundel County Regional Science Fair and Engineering Fair. Judging the event were 30 men and women from universities, business and the scientific community.

Dan's project, to determine which colors got hotter than others, won first place in the physics division. His project used nine stainless steel tiles painted with different colors that were exposed to a heat lamp for 1 1/2 hours. Then, with the aid of an infrared temperature indicator and laser pointer, he received a digital readout and was able to determine which colors heated up the most. The black tile was the hottest, proving that black absorbed more heat than any of the other colors.

This is the second year Dan made it to the regional fair. Last year, his project received an honorable mention. Dan said that for three hours he had to speak to each judge as they stopped by his display and asked questions. He would answer them and explain his project to them.

"I was really nervous last year when I went, but this year I wasn't nervous at all," he said.

Besides lacrosse, Dan played junior varsity football in the fall and ran indoor track in the winter. He is a member of the Freshman Scholar Club at school. He also plays drums in the contemporary band at St. John Lutheran Church in Linthicum. Dan attended Lindale Middle School, where he was in the Drama Club. He returns there to help pupils and "provide them with some helpful ideas," he said. Dan attended Overlook Elementary School.

Although Dan finds science interesting, he thinks his future will be in speaking and debating, possibly as a district attorney or criminal investigator. "I love watching lawyer shows and the judicial system," he said.

Fourteen-year-old Dan, his father, his mother Chris and sister Nicki live in Linthicum.

Dan was one of six students of Stacie Moon, a North County High science teacher, who went on to the regional competitions. The other ninth-graders were: Pat McNichol, first place in botany; Christoph Booth, first place in microbiology; Casey Bryant, first place in zoology; and Lauren Hauhn and Casie Kosack, third place in a team project on insulation.

Science exhibit

The Historical Electronics Museum, 1745 West Nursery Road, is observing Women's History Month with an exhibit on the contributions of female scientists and engineers.

The exhibit features Sara Josephine Baker, Jean Batten, August Ada Byron, Jacqueline Cochran, Caroline Lucretia Herschel, Grace Murray Hopper, Lillian M. Gilbreth, Barbara McClintock, Judith A. Resnik, Florence Barbara Seibert, Mary S. Shorb and Helen B. Taussig. The accomplishments of these women covered many fields, including medicine, mathematics, space exploration, engineering, aviation, astronomy and biochemistry.

Admission is free. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Groups are welcome and tours can be arranged.

Information: 410-765-0230 or 410-765-2345.

Women's Club to meet

Billed as a meeting in observance of Women's History Month, the career group of the Woman's Club of Linthicum Heights will present financial consultant Sunny Devese as guest speaker. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the clubhouse, 110 N. Hammonds Ferry Road. Her topic will be "Smart Women Finish Rich." Devese specializes in women's financial needs.

Devese received her registered representatives license in 1987. Before that, she started and sold two successful businesses. She is the author of adult fiction and a self-help book.

Refreshments will be served. Information: 410-859-3308.

Neighborhood Web site

The Linthicum Shipley Improvement Association has a Web site, The site features community news and a Maglev information link.

St. Christopher schedule

St. Christopher's Episcopal Church Holy Week services begin today, Palm Sunday, with services at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. A noon liturgy service will be held each day this week.

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