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Virginia Science and Technology Fair Will Draw Top Students to ODU Campus

Three hundred of the state's smartest high school students will visit the Old Dominion University campus on Friday and Saturday, April 2 and 3, to compete in the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair (VSSEF).

The competition is based on the quality of projects done by students, the results of which are presented through exhibits at the fair. These projects are judged by a panel of scientists and engineers, with awards being presented to winners in each of 18 categories.

The judges also select finalists to represent the commonwealth at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).

Charles E. Wilson Jr., ODU's vice provost for undergraduate studies and dean of University College, is coordinating the university's role as host of the event. He said the purpose of our fair is threefold: to stimulate in young people an active interest in science and engineering; to provide an educational experience through being exposed to the judges and to the public; and to give public recognition to talented students for the work that they have done.

All phases of the event will be held at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. ODU's College of Sciences, Batten College of Engineering and Technology and College of Health Sciences will promote their offerings to the fair participants via information booths and tours.

Registration, exhibit set-up and a pizza dinner for the students and their families will be on Friday evening beginning at 6 p.m. Judging will be Saturday morning and exhibits will be open for public viewing from 2 to 4 p.m. The awards ceremony will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Science and engineering fairs are structured on a hierarchical system beginning at the local high school level. Winners at the local fair represent their school at a regional fair. Winners at the regional fair can then represent their region at the state fair. All students participating in the VSSEF have already won at the regional levels. Regional fairs held in Virginia this year include: Arlington, Ashburn, Charlottesville, Dublin, Fairfax, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Manassas, Norfolk, Richmond and Roanoke.

The VSSEF finalists and their projects will go to the ISEF with all expenses paid. More than 1,000 students will participate in the next international fair in San Jose, Calif., May 9-15.

This article was posted on: March 30, 2010

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