LOS ANGELES, April 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 1000 of the state's top middle and high school students will convene for the final round of competition in the 68th Annual California Science & Engineering Fair, April 29-30, 2019 at the California Science Center in Exposition Park. Winners will take home a combined total approaching $70,000 in cash prizes. The Science and Engineering Fair's presenting sponsor is Northrop Grumman Corporation with additional support from Chevron Corporation, Broadcom Foundation, Gilead Sciences, Inc., THE MUSES of the California Science Center Foundation, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, United Airlines and The Cheryl Saban Self-Worth Foundation for Women & Girls.
Students will present projects that explore a wide range of issues. Some of the project titles submitted include:
- Playing Fortnite: A Distraction for Pain to the Brain
- Single-Use Plastic Straws: Taken by Habit, by Preference, or with Ignorance?
- Tackling Concussions: Testing the Effectiveness of Headgear to Reduce Displacement
- Is It Possible to Build a Fireproof House?
The public is invited to see this year's slate of innovative projects during the public viewing period on Monday, April 29 from 3:00-4:30 PM. Students will be present to answer questions. Admission is free.
The keynote address, featuring Nobel laureate Dr. Frances Arnold, is open to the public and will take place at the Opening Ceremony on Monday, April 29 from 5:00-6:00 PM in the California Science Center's Wallis Annenberg Building for Science Learning and Innovation.
Dr. Frances Arnold, the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "the directed evolution of enzymes." Directed evolution is a bioengineering method to create new and improved enzymes, invented by Dr. Arnold. This method has revolutionized the way hundreds of laboratories function, and enzymes created through directed evolution have, in many instances, replaced toxic chemicals.
Participating students representing 30 affiliated county and multi-county regional science fairs throughout the state have advanced to the California Science & Engineering Fair. The projects span 22 categories – from Aerodynamics/Hydrodynamics to Zoology – in two age divisions and will be judged by a volunteer pool of over 350 scientists and engineers from private industry and higher education.
In addition to the winners in each category, top honors will go to Student of the Year (Senior Division only), and Project of the Year (in both Junior and Senior Divisions). Science teachers, nominated by students, will also compete for both middle school and high school California Science & Engineering Fair Teacher of the Year. Additional awards will be made to student projects by scientific and engineering organizations.
Besides the recognition and prize money, participating in the fair provides additional benefits for students. The process gives them the opportunity to develop a unique set of abilities, including using scientific methodology to reach a conclusion, marketing techniques to create compelling graphic displays, and communication skills to explain their research to Science & Engineering Fair judges.
The fair culminates with an Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, April 30 from 4:00-5:30 PM in the Science Center's Wallis Annenberg Building.
Dr. Joe Palca, award-winning science correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR) since 1992, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the Awards Ceremony. He came to journalism with a science background having received a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he focused on human sleep physiology. Among his many accomplishments, he served as president of the National Association of Science Writers in 2009. From 2009-2010, Dr. Palca was the first Science Writer in Residence at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
The California Science Center, which has hosted the Science Fair every year since opening in 1998, is located at 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles. Parking is $12.00 per car (cash only) in the visitor lot at Figueroa and 39th Street / Exposition Park Drive.
SOURCE California Science Center Foundation