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Students compete for top honors at 59th California State Science Fair

Posted: May 10, 2010 3:37 p.m.
Updated: May 11, 2010 3:35 p.m.
LOS ANGELES -- More than 900 of the state's top middle and senior high school students will convene for the final round of competition in the 59th annual California State Science Fair, May 17-18, 2010 at the California Science Center in Exposition Park.

Winners will take home a combined total of more than $50,000 in cash prizes. Northrop Grumman is a major benefactor of the 2010 California State Science Fair, providing essential funding for this year's event, along with additional support from THE MUSES of the California Science Center Foundation, Time Warner Cable, and The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation. Dr. Leonard Rome, Associate Director of the California NanoSystems Institute, will serve as the keynote speaker.

Students representing 32 counties from around the state must first qualify at the regional or county level before advancing to the State Science Fair. The projects span 24 categories - from aerodynamics/hydrodynamics to zoology - in two age divisions and will be judged by a volunteer pool of over 300 scientists and engineers from private industry and higher education.

In addition to the winners in each category, top honors will go to Student of the Year (senior division only), and Project of the Year (in both junior and senior divisions). Thanks to the generosity of Patricia Beckman, the senior division Project of the Year recipient is awarded $10,000 and the junior division winner receives $5,000.

Science teachers, nominated by middle and high school students, will also compete for Science Teacher of the Year. Numerous external scientific and engineering organizations will present their own additional awards to projects.

Besides the recognition and prize money, participating in the fair provides additional benefits for students. The process gives them the opportunity to develop a unique set of abilities, such as using scientific methodology to reach a conclusion, marketing techniques to create eye-catching graphic displays, and interviewing skills to explain their research to Science Fair judges.

Ideas for projects often come from today's headlines or even real-life experiences. Here is a sample of the interesting titles submitted to this year's Science Fair:
-- Are the Fish We Eat Killing Us?
-- Cleaning Up Oil Spills in Aquatic Environments
-- Doorknobs of Disease
-- How Green Is Your Granny?
-- Is a Dog's Mouth Really Cleaner Than a Human's?
-- Swine Flu Sanitizers: Truth or Hogwash?

The public is invited to see this year's projects during the public viewing period on Monday, May 17 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

The fair culminates with two award ceremonies Tuesday, May 18 in the Science Center's Wallis Annenberg Building: The Senior Division ceremony will take place from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., followed by the Junior Division ceremony from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The California Science Center is located at 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles. Parking is $8 per car in the visitor lot at Figueroa and 39th/Exposition Park Drive.


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