Stress and competition take their toll on each friend's quest to take home the winning prize at the Pootatuck science fair.
In science class, Slinko reminds the students of the seventh grade science fair, which excites Fenwick, but CJ is unimpressed. The fair is optional, and projects must be approved by Slinko. Fenwick tells CJ and Crispo he was going to win, and though Crispo doesn't think much of science fairs, he likes how shiny the trophies are and wants to enter. They want to put it on the list, but CJ tells them the list is full. Fenwick realizes she is afraid that she wouldn't live up to Ronbie, who won the fair three times when he attended Pootatuck. She tells them she didn't want to participate, but they overrule her with a two to one vote.
At home, CJ explains that every morning she wakes up and sees Ronbie's collection of trophies in his trophy case. CJ's trophy case only holds loose change, scrunchies, and Bobo the teddy bear, but she is determined to win a trophy. Her mother asks about school, and CJ tells her she is entering the science fair. Ronbie gives her an idea for a project, but she lies and says she already has an idea. When they ask about it, she quickly leaves for school.
At school, CJ finds Crispo hopping and questions why. He tells her it was his science project, but Fenwick tells him that his robot, PootaBot, is actually science. CJ leaves when they ask about her project. Fenwick says Slinko would not approve Crispo's project and though Crispo doubts this, Fenwick is right. In class, Fenwick is testing out his robot. Mindy approaches him and says she is also doing a project on robots, but hers would be better.
CJ is looking at the school's trophy when Mr. Roberts notices her. She tells him about her science fair dilemma and says that she has a lot of ideas, but wants a trophy winning idea. He tells her to try an egg drop, which Slinko loves, and she does. At her house, she drops eggs down her stairs, but none of them land safely and she is frustrated. Her family is cautious around her while they watch television. CJ gets the idea to make a rocket from a news story.
Fenwick is testing PootaBot once more at school the next day when Mindy's much bigger robot destroys it. He learns her robot was built by graduate students and claims it was unfair. One of the graduate students apologizes, but says they would only get paid if Mindy won. Mindy lists off the features of her robot, and Fenwick picks up some pieces of his own robot, telling her he would win. Crispo shows Slinko some more of his science fair ideas, but Slinko does not approve any of them. He tells Crispo he is looking for projects that use the scientific method.
Mr. Roberts is impressed with CJ's rocket, which CJ built herself. One of the legs of the rocket breaks off, causing the rocket to fall on its side. Roberts asks if she had loaded it and gets his answer when the rocket shoots off, crashing into objects. The news reports that CJ's rocket hit a senior citizen building. The next day, she tells her parents and Ronbie that she is going to quit the science fair and when they don't encourage her to continue, she gets upset and tells them she was not going to quit after all, especially because it was on the list.
CJ and Crispo see a disheveled Fenwick and learn about Mindy's robot crushing his. He shows them an updated PootaBot that he worked on all night. He leaves and Crispo asks CJ about her project. She shows him her blank poster board and asks him about his project. He points at himself, which only confuses her. When Mindy sees Fenwick's new robot, she claims he copied her own, but he tells her he just improved it. Mindy's robot also gets improvements and destroys Fenwick's PootaBot 2.0 with its potato cannon.
Slinko is looking around the courtyard area where students are displaying their science project boards. He finds Crispo sitting on a table in front of a poster board and asks about it. Crispo says he is his science project and an exasperated Slinko finally approves it. CJ's board is still blank at the end of the school day, but she isn't worried because the science fair wasn't until the next day.
In the morning, however, her board is still blank and she is worried. Ronbie offers CJ some help, but she declines. He tells her not to give up and turns to leave, but CJ stops him by expressing how hard it was for her when her teachers always brought up what a great student Ronbie was. She tells him she wanted to get a trophy like him, but he tells her to not be like him. In middle school, he says he spent a lot of time locked up in his room working on science fair projects. He tells her he is jealous of her because she and her friends were trying things he didn't get to experience in middle school, but wishes he had. He suggests that she do her project on the list and she likes the idea.
At the science fair, CJ explains her project to a group of students and Mr. Roberts commends her. Crispo wants Slinko to judge him, but Slinko decides to start judging elsewhere first. Fenwick shows Mindy and her tutors his improved PootaBot, which uses a potato cannon to destroy Mindy's robot and poster board. It starts going haywire, however, and destroys other projects at the science fair. Mr. Roberts ushers the students inside and tells Fenwick to stop his robot. When it finally runs out of potatoes, PootaBot stops, and because only Crispo's project is left untouched, Slinko has no choice but to give all three trophies to him. One of Mindy's tutors is impressed by Fenwick's robot and they fist bump.
At home, CJ is surprised to find her trophy case filled with trophies. She finds out they're from Ronbie's collection with messages pertaining to her on them. Ronbie peeks into her room and tells her Bobo was going to be in his room on his trophy case for the night. CJ discovers just how amazing her brother is.
- Isabela Moner as CJ Martin
- Jaheem King Toombs as Fenwick Frazier
- Owen Joyner as Crispo Powers
- Jack De Sena as Jack Roberts
- Brady Reiter as Mindy Minus
- Max Ehrich as Ronbie Martin
- Henry Dittman as Mr. Martin
- Stephanie Escajeda as Mrs. Martin
- Christopher Neiman as Henry Slinko
- Karan Soni as Mindy's tutor
CJ's voice-over: The scientific method: a six step process in which a problem is identified, a hypothesis is formed, and blah, blah, blah.
CJ's voice-over: Every morning I wake up and see the same thing.
Ronbie: Morning, Ceej.
CJ's voice-over: My brother and his trophy cabinet, filled with every academic award you could possibly win, that is slightly more impressive than mine, which is filled with loose change, scrunchies, and Bobo the lonely shelf bear. But this year, I'm gonna win a trophy by using the scientific method. Step one: question. How am I going to win a trophy by using the scientific method?
Mrs. Martin: So, what's at school this week?
CJ: I'm entering the science fair.
Mr. Martin: Ooh, science fair. Isn't that voluntary in middle school?
CJ: Yeah, what's your point?
Mr. Martin: That I love you.
Ronbie: Oh, you should do something with CO2, Ceej. Slinko loves CO2.
CJ: Yeah, I thought about that, but, you know, I already came up with something better. Wasn't sure if two COs would be enough.
[CJ approaches Fenwick at his locker and see Crispo hopping]
CJ: Why is he hopping?
Fenwick: I was afraid to ask, so I didn't.
[Mindy's robot destroys Fenwick's robot]
Mindy: I told you my robot would crush your robot.
Fenwick: How did you build that?
Mindy: Does it matter?
Fenwick: It might!
[three adults come and stand behind Mindy]
Mindy's tutor: Okay, back it up. Yeah, it worked, but that input latency is totally unacceptable.
Fenwick: Uh, who are the grad student types?
Mindy: My parents may or may not have hired them as "tutors" to help me with the science fair.
Fenwick: You mean the science not fair!
CJ: Everyone's gonna be blown away by this project.
[one of the rocket's pieces breaks off, causing it to fall over on its side]
Mr. Roberts: You didn't load it, did you?
[rocket shoots off and people begin screaming]
CJ's voice-over: Which leads us to the next step of the scientific method. Step four: observe and report, which the local news did for me.
News reporter 1: The citywide panic ended when SWAT team discovered the senior center was not under missile attack, but simply hit by a science fair project accidentally fired from Pootatuck Middle School.
News reporter 2: Well, Michelle, I don't see any trophies in that kid's future.
[the next day]
CJ's voice-over: So after my rocket misfired, I not only had to think of another science fair project, but write a heartfelt apology to the residents of Peaceful Meadows Senior Center.
Ronbie: Hey, baby sis, it's big science fair day. Do you need any help? [sees her blank project board and is surprised]
CJ: I don't need your help. I can do it on my own.
Ronbie: Just trying to be nice. But remember, we Martins don't give up.
CJ: It's not easy, you know, being a Martin, when all your teachers talk about is what a great student Ronbie was and how many science fairs you won. I guess I just thought this time I'd get a trophy for once, like you.
Ronbie: CJ, do not be like me. Have you seen my life? Do you have any idea how many hours I spent in middle school locked in my room, alone, working on science projects? I'm the one who should be jealous.
CJ: Of me?
Ronbie: You and the guys, you're out there, you're trying new things on your list, crazy things. Things I wish I did in middle school.
CJ: One hundred things to do before high school is an ongoing experiment about breaking out of your comfort zone, trying new things, and making the most of our middle school years. And while the experiment isn't over yet, the results so far have been wildly positive and rewarding. And in conclusion, with friends by your side, a spirit ready to rise, and an ever-expanding list of middle school adventures, there's nothing you can't do, because when you think about it, our lives are the greatest experiments we'll ever do.
CJ's voice-over: So, in conclusion, totally enter the science fair. You might win shiny trophies or make some interesting connections.
Mindy's tutor: Dude, we've never seen anyone achieve that level of potato velocity. Impressive work!
CJ's voice-over: And no matter what, you're sure to make some amazing discoveries, like I did when I got home.
[sees the trophies on her trophy shelf]
CJ: Greatest CJ Martin Ever, Outstanding Achievement in Sisterhood, Number One List Maker, My Favorite Person Award.
[CJ looks across the hall into Ronbie's room]
Ronbie: Oh, and Bobo's sleeping with me tonight.
CJ's voice-over: Like the fact that I have an amazing brother.
- This episode was filmed in January 2015.
- Peaceful Meadows Senior Center is a building located near Pootatuck Middle School.
- The pictures featured on CJ's project are behind-the-scenes pictures from the pilot, "Start a Garage Band Thing!," "Run with the Bears Thing!," "Say Yes to Everything for a Day Thing!," "Adopt a Flour Baby Thing!, "Find Your Super Power Thing!," and "Scavenger Hunt Thing!."
- Students had projects covering topics on many subjects such as potato and homemade clocks, robots, rockets, planetary science, earth science and energy sources, bridge construction, snail movement, lemon battery, bike share, magnets, cameras, and volcanoes at the science fair.
- This is the second time Fenwick and Crispo come up with the next thing on the list, the first being "Make a New Friend Thing!"
- Fenwick's robot knocks down projects entitled Save the Earth with Renewable Energy Sources, Hand Wash, and Potato Power, but these same boards can be seen upright in a different shots afterwards. Hand Wash and Potato Power can be seen getting knocked over again.
| To view the Be a Mad Scientist Thing! gallery, click here.