Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 30, 2013

Interest growing for science fair

Mike James
The Independent

SUMMIT —  Organizers of a first-ever regional science fair have been making the rounds of area schools to drum up interest and so far they like what they are hearing from teachers and students.

“I feel good about it. The responses from the students and the teachers show they have an interest,” said Barbara Walters, a retired Ashland Community and Technical College professor and director of the FIVCO Area Science & Engineering Fair.

“The students I’ve spoken with are asking good questions,” Walters said.

The fair, open to all students in fourth through 12th grades in public, parochial or home-based schools in the five Northeast Kentucky counties (Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup and Lawrence), will be held March 2 at ACTC’s former technical campus on Roberts Drive.

Much of the interest so far has been at the fifth- and sixth-grade elementary school level.

Judging categories include fourth and fifth grades, sixth through eighth grades, and ninth through 12th grades.

Walters has visited several elementaries, mainly in the Ashland district, and has plans to visit more schools, including a stop at West Carter Middle on Thursday, she said Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, Walters received the first formal entry, a behavioral science study by a three-pupil team from Ponderosa Elementary.

So far, all the Ashland elementaries are participating; Hager alone has 19 teams planning to compete.

Teams at some schools will take their entries to school-based science nights as a dry run for the fair and a chance to tweak them before the big event.

Fair organizers are still seeking judges, preferably people with strong science and engineering backgrounds, Walters said. Also needed are volunteers for setup of the fair.

The project entry deadline is Feb. 23. Projects are required to meet International Science and Engineering Fair guidelines, which can be found at www.societyforscience.org.

The fair has a website, http://ashland.kctcs.edu/Science_Fair.aspx, with more information.

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.