Home-schooled seventh-grader Theresa enjoys performing ballet and Irish step dancing. She is also learning to play the piano.
Theresa noticed when sand fences were erected on a beach her family visits each year. She wondered if a different design might help the fence capture more sand, helping to create dunes and slow beach erosion.
Theresa experimented with different fence designs by building miniature sand fences with either flat slats or slats tied together to form an elbow. She placed these slats in either straight or zigzag configurations. She then blew sand towards the fences using a fan and measured how much sand each fence trapped. Theresa found that using elbow slats significantly improved sand capture, though the configuration of these slats made little difference. She also discovered that using an airfoil optimized the amount of sand that the fence captured.