Westport, CT, February 6, 2012 – Nearly 400 students and judges were joined by Dr. Dan Riskin, host of Animal Planet’s Monsters Inside Me at the 12th Annual Southern Connecticut Invitational Science & Engineering Fair (SCISEF) held this year at Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge. Completed projects and research proposals were presented by students from Amity Regional High School, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Darien High School, Joel Barlow High School, Hamden High School, Newtown High School and Staples High School.
Each student was required to create an exhibit, make a presentation, and participate in a question and answer session. Volunteer judges evaluated entries (both completed projects and research proposals) in four categories: behavioral sciences, environmental sciences, health sciences and physical sciences.
State Representative Tony Hwang, a first time judge remarked, “The quality of each exhibit was impressive and the enthusiastic and energetic presentation by each young science/engineering scholar gave hope that our community and country will ably compete in the global marketplace into the future.” Hwang added “the tireless work of board members and volunteers made this event an incredible success. They are the true heroes in advocating science/engineering education for our kids.”
William Foster II, SCISEF Chairman, opened the awards ceremony by welcoming the outstanding students, teachers, judges, volunteers and mentors. Dr. Paul Oestreicher, SCSEF President, announced that Dr. Harry Rosvally, K-12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Curriculum Administrator for the Danbury Public Schools, was the recipient of the first Paul Heilman award for outstanding volunteer service. Paul Heilman, who passed away in 2010, was a co-founder of SCISEF.
Dr. Oestreicher also introduced Dr. Riskin, who delivered a compelling and entertaining address entitled, “Should I Really Consider a Career in Science?” An internationally known evolutionary biologist, Dr. Riskin told the story of his own career path, how it led him to become an expert on bat locomotion and then a TV host. Among his many lessons, he urged the students to question what they see and what others have told them, and then to question themselves before drawing any conclusions. He said science is about following ones passion, and that it’s an intellectual pursuit but “cool and awesome,” too.
The next SCISEF is scheduled for February 9, 2013.
SCSEF (The Southern Connecticut Science & Engineering Foundation), seeks to inspire and educate students by encouraging inquiry and exploration in science and engineering, and by exposing them to exciting and practical advances in science.
SCISEF (The Southern Connecticut Invitational Science & Engineering Fair) promotes critical thinking skills, and motivates students to pursue science and engineering after high school.
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