Science and engineering fair to highlight students’ knowledge, work
Budding scientists, engineers and problem solvers will be flexing their imaginations and showcasing their knowledge during the 2013 Northeast Georgia Regional Science & Engineering Fair that Athens Technical College will host from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., February 8.
Event organizers for the college expect nearly 150 outstanding middle and high school students, including potential Athens Technical College students, from around the Northeast Georgia region, to compete in the event being held on the college’s Athens Campus, 800 U. S. Highway 29 North, said event director Amy Abrahamsen, science lab manager at the college. Last year, more than 180 middle school and high school students presented their various projects, ranging from hovercrafts, to electrolysis as an energy source to determining which abiotic factors influence photovoltaic module voltage output, Ms. Abrahamsen said.
Public viewing of projects will take place from 3:30-5:30 p.m. the day of the event.
In addition to displaying their various hypotheses and experiments, students — and any parents who attend — will have the opportunity to participate in a series of extra activities involving the life sciences, physics and engineering throughout the day. Last year, special activities included viewing through digital microscopes, DNA swabbing, physics challenges and a fun chemistry demonstration by “Mr. Science,” retired chemistry professor Dr. Maurice Snook.
Northeast Georgia counties from which schools are invited to the science and engineering fair include Banks, Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Franklin, Greene, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Jackson, Madison, Morgan, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Walton. So far, Clarke, Barrow, Madison, Oglethorpe, Oconee, Greene, Rabun, and Stephens county schools have indicated they will have students competing, Ms. Abrahamsen said.
Award winners from the Northeast Georgia regional competition and 21 other regional events held in January and February will exhibit at the state-level Georgia Science and Engineering Fair, scheduled for March 21-23 in Athens at the Classic Center. Only 700 students from around the state will be invited to compete in the GSEF in Athens.
Putting on the science and engineering fair takes significant planning and work that requires volunteers, Ms. Abrahamsen said.
“At the core of a great fair are the many volunteers helping with registration and judges’ hospitality, student activities, set-up, clean-up, etc.,” Ms. Abrahamsen said. “If you are able to volunteer for this year’s event, please reply to let me know your available time and preferred task, and please pass this on to anyone else in the community who may be interested.”
Working with the student participants is very rewarding, Ms. Abrahamsen said.
“It’s a fun and exciting day working with so many bright young people from our local area, and it’s always so encouraging to see how much it means to them to be able to come here to participate in the event,” she said.
Volunteering offers a great service opportunity for student organizations as well, Ms. Abrahamsen added.
Major sponsors for this year’s event include Platinum Sponsor Jackson EMC and Gold Sponsor Georgia Power.
Photo caption: Science fair judge Ken Riddleberger asks North Oconee High School ninth grader Chuambo Pan about Pan’s project during the 2012 Northeast Georgia Regional Science & Engineering Fair at Athens Technical College. Pan won the Independent Scientist Award for his project Development of Latin Learning Software for Apple's iPad.