Student hopes halo proves his science credentials

Student hopes halo proves his science credentials

Kiefer Walsh is a contender for a spot at the National Science Fair Competition to be held in Washington, D.C., in October.
Photo by James A. McBride

Congratulations to Kiefer Walsh, recent graduate of Saint Margaret Regional School, Woodbury Heights, and a contender for a spot at the National Science Fair Competition to be held in Washington, D.C., in October 2017.

Kiefer’s project, “The Halo Effect,” placed second in the Behavioral and Social Science category in the 2016 Coriell Institute Science Fair. Advancing to the Delaware Valley Regional Science Fair in April, Kiefer defended his research and placed third in his category.

To prove the halo effect, which presumes people form opinions through bias, Kiefer created two videos of the same man describing his IT services job. In one video, the man was dressed in business attire; in the other he wore shorts, T-shirt and a cap. When surveyed, most viewers who saw the man in business attire assumed he was in middle or upper management and would likely hire him. The man in the casual attire was presumed by most of his viewers to be entry level; 50 percent said they would hire him. Kiefer’s research demonstrated bias in favor of the better-dressed employee.

“I want to work for the FBI or be a lawyer,” said Kiefer, who believes both professions require an ability to judge people in a fair way.

Kiefer credits Saint Margaret School, particularly teacher Regina Butterworth, with an excellent science program and the encouragement to enter science fair competitions.

One of 300 nominees nationwide, Kiefer will learn in September whether he is one of 30 young scientists invited to attend the national competition. By then, he will have an additional community of supporters as he begins high school at Paul VI in Haddonfield.

Categories: Catholic School News

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