Science Fair season is in full swing again, as I’m reminded by a nice post titled The History of Science Fairs from eGFI – For Teachers . (They have a less-good post What is a Science Fair?, which appears to have borrowed liberally from Wikipedia—I recognize some of the phrases.)
This week I’ll be judging one elementary-school science fair, and next week a middle-school science fair. All the school fairs have to be done soon, as the students who win at those fairs have to register for the Santa Cruz County Science Fair by Feb 16. (High-schoolers, who don’t have school-level fairs in this county, can register directly for the county science fair.)
I’ll also be judging at the County Science Fair on Saturday 12 March 2011. I encourage scientists and engineers (including grad students and postdocs) to volunteer to judge at school, regional, and state science fairs [Judges' page for Santa Cruz County]. There is nearly always a shortage of qualified judges (particularly in the behavioral and biological sciences).
I don’t know whether I’ll be judging at the state science fair this year. If I have to go to LA to accompany my son, I’ll volunteer, but he’s not sure that his project will be ready for the Feb 16 deadline and it’s his decision whether he submits it or not. Even if he does finish it soon enough, there is no guarantee that it will be good enough to get him entry to the state science fair (though, as a proud parent, I think it is good enough). He’s been to the state science fair for the past three years in a row, so it isn’t a big deal for him. He’d like to win state some year, but neither of us think that this year’s project is that good.