Tahoe Lake travels to Science and Engineering Fair
June 2, 2009
Wise teachers understand education is a journey and students need to be provided with glimpses of what lies beyond the bend. Such is the case with Tahoe Lake Elementary School teacher Dave Goggin, who escorted his fifth grade students to the science fair to end all science fairs last month in Reno, Nev.The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair is the worlds largest pre-college science fair. A program of the Society for Science andamp; the Public, the 40-year-old event encourages students to tackle challenging scientific questions using authentic research practices to create solutions to the problems of tomorrow. These brilliant young scientists came together from all reaches of the world, representing not only the United States, but also 50 other countries, regions and territories. More than 1,000 science, engineering and industry professionals volunteered to judge at the fair. The 1,500 students competed for nearly $4 million in scholarships and awards.Students need to study at their current level, but its important for them to see whats above them and shoot for that, explained Goggin. These are the brightest high schoolers in the world. For the first 20 minutes my kids were overwhelmed. Then they walked around and absorbed it all.After the students got over being shell shocked, they naturally gravitated to exhibits that interested them. All of the high school students were incredibly well-spoken about their projects, recalled Goggin. My class was still talking about their favorite projects the following day.According to Goggin, his students got a powerful dose of inspiration for upcoming elementary school science fair projects and beyond. The programs stellar entries were light years away from classic erupting volcano science fair projects. For instance, Charlottesville, Va. student Tara Anjali Adiseshan, 14, received a $50,000 scholarship for her project: Identifying and Classifying Evolutionary Interactions between Sweat Bees and Nematodes. Other prize-winning projects included How Worms Learn and The Use of Bioluminescent Bacteria to Detect Environmental Contaminants.