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Not so weird STEM science

Science is fun, it really is.

It is even more fun now that science fair projects have made their way back into the classroom curriculum at least at the STEM school my own child attends.

Oh, sure there are still going to be adults that groan to some degree in regards to the cost, the time and the effort that has to be expended on these types of projects. It is not easy to tackle the difficult projects and not all of the students involved are as enthusiastic as they should be at the start.

I was very excited to learn at the beginning of this school year, that the educators at the West Hills STEM Academy had incorporated students’ science fair submissions into their class time and overall grade.

I have to hand it to them, discussions regarding potential project ideas and initial research components started back in October. A very realistic timeline of expectations and deadlines was then presented to the students and their families.

When looking back at my column of three years ago on this very topic, I am extremely happy with how well this school and the district has turned around from not having a school level science fair at all to having one of the highest participation levels in the district when it comes to entries for the annual Washington State Science and Engineering Fair (WSSEF) hosted right here in Bremerton.

Typically I write about the WSSEF closer to the actual event. But this year I am choosing to write about it far enough ahead of time so that maybe a few more Bremerton students might become informed and inspired enough to put together a project in the coming weeks and then go on to enter it in the WSSEF.

Nick had a wonderful time this weekend conducting his experiments and gathering his data.

Let’s face it, when you are a 12-year-old boy and you get to light things on fire under the acceptable umbrella of a scientific experiment, even with adult supervision, it’s a pretty good time.

Information about the upcoming State Science Fair can be found on their website www.wssef.org. Within the site are pages of information, rules and requirements. The deadline for entry applications is March 15, and the entry fee is only $15.

The organizers and volunteers who run this event are exacting in the amount of participant and visitor data that they collect. They then share this important data with the city of Bremerton who assists with funding the event out of their annual lodging tax fund.

Entire families and schools come from all over the state of Washington to participate. Public, private and homeschooled students are welcome and encouraged to participate.

My goal every year is to help this wonderful event grow, especially when it comes to the number of Bremerton students who enter.

Take some time and encourage your student to begin work on a science fair project. You will be amazed at what they can accomplish and learn when it comes to hands on science applications.

 

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