Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Event Review: The Science and Engineering Fair of Metro Detroit

The 53rd Annual Science and Engineering Fair of Metro Detroit - Showcasing Educational Excellence in the Heart of Detroit

On Tuesday, I performed my yearly community service by volunteering at the 53rd Annual Science and Engineering Fair of Metro Detroit. The science fair is for students in the 6th through 12th grades representing Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties. This is my 5th year volunteering at the science fair for setup day. Setup day is the day that all the students, teachers, and parents come to Cobo Hall to drop off and setup the displays before the projects are officially judged the next day.

Me with Fair Director Tim Fino
It's a lot of work, but someone has to do it
Setup day can be very hectic for all the parties involved. Every year, I have to put my feet up and rest after a very long day of walking over and over again the length of Michigan Hall in the lower level of Cobo Hall. But for Tim Fino, the fair's director, it's just par for the course. Tim has been involved with this science fair for over 35 years. He fell in love with science fairs from being involved in competitions in his youth. And in the late 1970's, Tim volunteered to help automate the check-in process and he has been at it ever since.

When I asked Tim about the importance of science fairs, he commented that fairs like the Science and Engineering Fair of Metro Detroit give students a great opportunity to experience science and the true thrill of competition. "Kids should be the best in whatever they do", said Tim. "This fair gives our youth an opportunity to see what other kids their own age are doing academically, determine how they measure up to the competition, and see where there is room for improvement". And this fair is just a stepping stone for some of the students that are entered. Student winners in the senior category will go on to compete in the Michigan State Science Fair on April 10th at Kettering University in Flint.

Laurie Williams (left) from Novi with her daughters and school friends
Proud Students = Proud Parents
Laurie Williams, from Novi, is just one of the proud parents of students with projects entered in this science fair. Laurie was having a great time on setup day looking at the projects and checking out all the competition. Laurie's daughter has a project in the Team Junior Division and Laurie and her crew were all looking forward to coming down on Wednesday morning for the team presentation. When I met Laurie, she was just beaming with excitement. "I think they are all just phenomenal", she said, referring to all the science fair projects.

And you are invited...
The public is invited down to the Michigan Hall in Cobo Hall to see all these great exhibits in person. Public viewing is Thursday, March 18th and Friday, March 19th. This fair is one of the best keep secrets in Detroit. Please come out and support the fair and let our children know that you are proud of their accomplishments.

Just one of the many long tables of science project displays
Science teacher Kimberly Finley (right) from Bates Academy with the 53 displays that she came to setup for her school. This is a dedicated teacher.


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