By Anna Smith
With mere days between now and the Kiwanis Regional Science Fair, bright minds are abuzz with possibilities, and organizers with the task of putting together all the last-minute touches.
Registrations are still rolling in, said Patty Rooks, senior scientific consultant with Praxis Science Outreach Society.
“They’re a little bit slower than usual, because the school science fairs are just finishing up,” said Rooks, adding that they’ve had hundreds of students in their own school-level science fairs recently, from Medicine Hat to Ralston and far beyond. “So we’re super excited about what’s going to happen at the science fair, we have lots of exciting prizes, we have some wonderful donors that have stepped up the game this year and provided cash, as well as other prizes.”
Rooks added, with a laugh, that by popular demand, she’s going to also be doing a bit of a science trivia game prior to the award ceremony, for everyone who decides to attend, and has a fair number of prizes for those who know their facts.
“Nothing excites me more than seeing these students enter the science fair, and show off what they have learned. Because they got to choose these projects,” said Rooks. “So how exciting is it that they got to investigate something they wanted to do, not something the teacher made them do, or the curriculum made them do? This was their time to shine.”
As always, the fair boasts a number of volunteer judges, from local celebrities and VIPs to leaders of industry.
“We also have some college students that have stepped up to judge these students and provide them some valuable feedback so they can continue to improve their projects in the years to come. And hopefully, we will have some award winning projects to send to the Canada Wide Science Fair in May of this year,” said Rooks.
Registration will remain open until March 29, and any student in grades 4–12 can participate, regardless of whether their own school hosted a science fair.
“There is no cost to enter the Regional Science Fair, which is really important for the students. You know, school districts support us. We have private donors and industry funders, which is definitely helpful. And that just allows us to feel like so many more students have the opportunity to participate,” said Rooks.
The fair itself will be at Medicine Hat College on April 1.