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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How you can help American students improve in science | Island Packet - Opinion

"Science fair projects are one of the best learning experiences a student can undertake. They have the potential to get students interested in science, engineering and mathematics" inform Chris Clayton, retired engineer.

Form left to right, judges Carolyn Ogren, Walt Ding and Scott Hamlin look over a science project...

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Photo: File

Every year, Beaufort County high school and middle school students compete in regional science fairs. The winners are eligible to enter the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. This is an excellent way to earn significant prizes, qualify for scholarships, and distinguish a college application.

It is also important for America’s future. Today, America ranks 28th in the world for science and 35th for mathematics. If we are to maintain our competitive edge on the world stage, we have to put more emphasis on science — and science fairs are an especially motivating way to interest students.

The public and private schools in this area do emphasize the importance of science fairs and indeed lead the state in promoting student participation. The teachers involved are dedicated and spend many hours supporting their students in preparation for the competitions. It is essential that we as a community support the teachers and volunteers who give their time to foster scholastic excellence in the sciences.

Science fair projects are an important part of the learning process and develop analytical abilities and critical thinking. They provide the opportunity to interface with experienced experts in a wide range of scientific fields.

The fairs are supported by a nonprofit, volunteer organization called the Sea Island Regional Science Fairs. Its members spend many hours judging students projects. Most are retired professionals from the engineering, scientific and medical fields, with support from dedicated teachers...

...If you are interested in using your knowledge and experience to help stimulate the study of science and engineering in our schools, or if you know someone who may be interested, please email me at:

Prospective judges will be invited to attend an orientation meeting to provide details of judging criteria and protocols. I guarantee you will enjoy the experience.

The Coastal Discovery Museum is very of supportive, allowing us to use its facilities and helping us recruit new judges.

Please visit our web site at

Source: Island Packet