When I was in middle school, my science experiments ranged from testing the effects of acid rain (a big deal in the early 80s) to making a homemade wind tunnel with my dad and testing different wing designs carved out of balsa wood. Not exactly the Manhattan Project but they were fun, won an award or two, and my science teachers liked them.
Max Geissbuhler's science teachers ought to be completely blown away by his science experiment with his dad, Luke. Together, they sent a balloon, a parachute, an HD camera, and an iPhone up into the stratosphere, videotaping the entire ascent and virtually all of the descent (until the batteries ran out two minutes from touchdown 30 miles from their launch site. Steve Jobs and the PR folks at Apple ought to be all over this!