March 9, 2006
Nearly 200 junior high and high schools students from 20 different schools gathered at the University of Virginia for the 25th Annual Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair. Here is a look at the competitive side of a the fair. You won't see any physical competitiveness at this competition, but everyone wants the grand prize.
For many of the students here today, they're just having fun. But some say they have bigger motives.
"I wanted to win, first. I wanted to prove that I could in fact compete and do a science fair board," said competitor Josie Evans from Buford Middle School.
Evans is competing in the junior division of the science fair with 124 other students. All are competing to win with creative, musical, or just interesting projects. A majority of the students said they want to win, but they still enjoy the whole process--like third year competitor Anthony Gulotta from Charlottesville High School.
"I like that [I] learn new things every single year [and] do different projects," said Gulotta. "I just enjoy the competition."
That competition is what Science Fair Director Gary Henry hopes keeps kids inspired to pursue careers in science and engineering.
"Certainly it will make a big difference to our country to have a few more science and engineering professionals. we're currently lagging far behind a lot of other countries," said Henry.
Who knows--there could be the next Bill Gates in this room of future engineers and scientist.
"I think it is something I'll continue to do," said Evans.
Today there were over 15 winners in several categories. The top two winners of the senior division of today's science fair will go on to compete in the International Science Fair in Indianapolis.