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Tidewater Science and Engineering Fair at ODU This Weekend

Tidewater Science Fair logo

Students in grades 6-12 from throughout southeastern Virginia will compete Saturday, March 10, in the Tidewater Science and Engineering Fair at Old Dominion University. This 61st annual fair has been organized by the Tidewater Science Congress, and ODU is a sponsor as well as the host.

Members of the ODU faculty and staff will have roles as judges, coordinators and college admissions advisers during the all-day event. Michael Overstreet, professor emeritus of computer science and former associate dean of the ODU College of Sciences, and Chris Osgood, associate professor of biological sciences and associate dean of the College of Sciences, are members of the governing board of the Tidewater Science Congress.

All portions of the fair will be in ODU's Webb Center. Registration will be from 7-7:30 a.m. in the front lobby. The opening ceremony for exhibitors, parents and teachers will be at 8:30 a.m. in the North Cafeteria and will feature remarks by Melani Loney, president of the Tidewater Science Congress, and Carol Simpson, ODU's provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Judging of the nearly 300 projects expected to be entered in the competition will begin about 8:45 a.m. and the presentation of awards will be from 2-4 p.m. in the North Cafeteria. The public will be allowed to view the projects and displays from 12:30-1:30 p.m. and to attend the awards ceremony.

An ODU panel consisting of Nechell Bonds, director of undergraduate admissions, Terri Mathews, associate dean of the College of Sciences, and Linda Vahala, associate dean of the Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology, will discuss college admissions at a presentation from 8:45-9:30 a.m.

From 9:30-1:30 a.m. there will be special programs and campus tours for the teachers and families of students whose projects will be competing in the fair.

Participation in the fair is open to students in public and private schools, as well as those who are home-schooled, from Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Isle of Wight, Gloucester, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Poquoson, Williamsburg, James City County, Southampton County, Franklin and Accomack County.

Main sponsors in addition to ODU are Jefferson Lab; Armed Forces Communications Electronics Association( Hampton Roads and Tidewater chapters); Information Systems Security Association (Hampton Roads chapter); New Horizons Governor's School for Science and Technology; Prevailance Inc.; Tidewater Association of Service Contractors; CH2MHill Inc. with Doug Bitterman; Dell Young; and Larry Horvath.

The fair follows rules of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) and accepts exhibits from the following categories: animal sciences, behavioral and social sciences, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, earth and planetary science, electrical and mechanical engineering, materials engineering and bioengineering, energy and transportation, environmental sciences, mathematics, medicine and health sciences, microbiology, physics and astronomy, and plant sciences.

First-place winners in the high school division of the regional fair will qualify for the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair April 6-7, also on the ODU campus. Competitors at the state fair will be vying for the chance to represent the state in the Intel ISEF.

The director of the Tidewater Science and Engineering Fair is Dell Young. The fair's website is at www.cs.odu/~scifair/RegionalFair/index.html.