The Lakeside Science Fair Program
Hank Shiver, Louis Regalado, Todd Stong and Charlie Smith are working with Lakeside high schools to develop science fair projects of high enough quality to participate in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). There are currently Lakeside science fairs but none which competes at the ISEF level. ISEF is the world’s premier science fair, covering sixty countries and with monetary prizes up to $75,000 US dollars to an individual competitor, and a total of 4.5 million globally. An ISEF science fair is held each year in Guadalajara, and a goal of the Lakeside project is to get local students competing there as soon as possible, and eventually at the international level. A major benefit of participating in highly competitive science fairs is that it exposes bright high school students to real-world science and engineering and allows them to see what scientists and engineers actually do, hopefully stimulating some students to consider a career in technology. And of course what Mexico desperately needs to prosper in the twenty-first century is a first-rate science and engineering infrastructure, which starts with education.
The initial emphasis is on the four public schools in Chapala and Jocotepec. They are very enthusiastic about participating. With over 1200 students they certainly have some bright lights whom could excel in science and engineering. As a spin-off to the science fair effort, the team is also collecting English-language books and magazines for the schools, and is arranging trips for students to see scientists and engineers at work. The Jose Cuervocorporation has offered to bus students to their new facility in Tequila, and have the engineers who built it, explain their efforts to the students and accompanying teachers. Intel Corporation will give tours of their very impressive facility in Guadalajara.The Mexican national representative from Intel for science fairs is on board for this effort, as are the school administrators, government representatives and local corporations.
This program needs volunteers with technical backgrounds to make it work, especially to serve as mentors or coaches to students working on specific projects. Assistance in preparing exhibits, raising funds for project components and travel, and coordinating the program is also needed. A few months of part-time effort could make a big difference to a bright student’s career. And most of us who had careers in science and engineering can find pleasure in passing on our accumulated knowledge. We will be holding meetings to recruit volunteers in September. Times and place will be in the Guadalajara Reporter.
If you have any questions contact Charlie Smith at phone 766-3370 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com
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