2017-01-07: Science Fair – Chesapeake Science Point Public Charter School
by Asia Morgan, CSEP
On Sunday, January 8th the Chesapeake Science Point Public Charter School of Hanover, Maryland hosted its annual science fair with students representing the 6th through 12th grades. Although originally scheduled on December 17th, and rescheduled for January 7th, this science fair suffered multiple weather sustaining cancellations but these students would not be deterred. They were excited to share their work and were well prepared.
Mr. Ashish Vadalia, Chesapeake Science Point Science Department Chair, welcomed all judges with and without prior judging experience. He expressed his appreciation for those willing to share their time and support for the students who had worked hard to prepare for this day. Although Chesapeake Science Point consists of a small but diverse student body, there were over 200 projects presented.
The students have been preparing for this fair since September 2016. Listening to the students speak with a high level of enthusiasm about their projects was impressive. Each student was responsible for introducing their project, delivering their hypothesis, explaining the various steps used to test their project, their conclusion, and other supporting information. From testing the hypothesis of whether or not dogs can read, using tea for plant growth, or the "keys" to relaxation based on music, the judges were treated to an eclectic selection of projects.
The INCOSE Chesapeake Chapter had the privilege of judging the various experiments on display, interacting with the talented students and allowing them to present their projects. Each judge was given an iPad showing the details for the various categories and projects. Judges were able to ask questions about the individual projects and were given the opportunity to provide constructive feedback.
When asked how their projects were chosen, a student shared that his hearing-impaired brother was the inspiration for his project.
For our participation, each judge received a gift bag including a brain teaser game. However, in my opinion the judges should have thanked the Chesapeake Science Point Public Charter School for the opportunity to judge such enthusiastic and creative students who one day just might become a Systems Engineer.
There can be many ways a student can become inspired to pursue engineering as a profession. There is no doubt that Science Fairs are just one of many opportunities for our youth to become more interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Science projects are typically chosen based on the student’s natural interest and allows them to use critical thinking skills to derive answers and conclusions to questions. The formulation of conclusions and the satisfaction of answers gives the student a sense of satisfaction and a feeling of accomplishment and can be a powerful moment of discovery for the student. Perhaps the student will be inspired enough to pursue a career in systems engineering. Help develop the next generation of technology innovators – Volunteer and Support our Youth!