Science fairs, quite simply, kept me sane through those dark school years. The allure of the project, the deadlines, and having a justification for obsessive focus on things other than boring homework… these events shaped my life. Every year from 5th grade on, I had a science fair project, and this one was the last:…

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After three years of working on speech synthesis, I finally made it to the International Science Fair with a machine that showed promise… a working model of the vocal tract based on X-rays of my own head. With an arcane user-interface that included a voicing foot-pedal and fingers inserted into a tongue-emulator, I could create…

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Much .edu about nothing cartoon

by Steven K. Roberts Seneca High School — Louisville, Kentucky March, 1969 (written in 2019) I was nearing the end of my time at Seneca High School in Louisville, and there were a lot of things on my mind other than calculus. The cute and brilliant girl in front of me, driving me crazy with…

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Just a moment of family history… my father was the director of the Louisville Regional Science Fair, and Derek Fort was a frequent winner with interesting model rocketry projects. This was in the Feb 21, 1969 issue of General Electric News (he was a refrigeration engineer in Building 5 at Appliance Park, and for many…

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One of the more formative and worthwhile endeavors of my high-school years at Seneca (Louisville, class of 1969) was this wonderful senior play — largely because the director, Eugene Stickler, was brilliant. I was Mr. Sowerberry, the undertaker, and sang a solo that still resonates in my head nearly a half-century later (“He’s a born undertaker’s mute.…

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Besides my obsession with science fairs and random electronics geekery, my most visible “extracurricular activity” during high-school years was the Civil Air Patrol. Memory is hazy, but I believe I was in for three years… I became a lieutenant before dropping out during my senior year. These two photos are from 1968; I was the…

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Photo above: STEVE ROBERTS, son of Household Refrigerator employee Ed Roberts, demonstrates his exhibit at the recent Louisville Regional Science Fair held at Jeffersontown High School. Steve’s project, “A New Method of Electronic Speech Compression,” won him six awards and a number two spot at the fair. This article appeared in the weekly General Electric…

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In May of 1967, I was enroute to the International Science Fair in San Francisco aboard a Constellation operated by American Flyers airline. We had just crossed the front range of the Rockies and were flying over snowy peaks, and I was gazing out the window on the right side of the plane. Suddenly engine…

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As a budding ham and paleo-geek, I was naturally drawn to the idea of building an automatic Morse Code sender instead of, you know, actually learning to do it competently with a straight key! This was not my design, though it had a number of modifications; it ended up mounted on the side of my…

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From the archives, here is my father — Edward Roberts, second from right — with two of the science fair winners along with his associates from the Louisville Engineering and Scientific Societies Council, which hosted the science fair. The students featured are Larry Goad of Waggener High School, and David Church. The project shown is…

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