Tri-Valley Science & Engineering Fair Offers Students, Businesses a Chance to Interact with LLNL

Fans of science and engineering will want to mark their calendars and get involved with the tenth annual Tri-Valley Science and Engineering Fair. The fair, presented by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), will be held from Tuesday, March 28 through Saturday, April 1 at the new Robert Livermore Community Center in Livermore. The event will feature exhibits and experiments from students in grades seven through 12 from public, private, and parochial schools within the Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore, San Ramon, and Sunol school districts.

"We believe that kids learn science by doing science," explains Nadine Horner of the LLNL, fair director. "Kids take a question and explore it using scientific methods. It's like solving a mystery."

The Tri-Valley Science and Engineering Fair has important attributes that set it apart from other science fairs, however.

"What makes our science fair so spectacular is that not only do the kids go through the scientific process on their own but the judges who evaluate their projects are scientists themselves, experts in their field," she says. "That's a rarity and it comes about only because we have two national laboratories right here in the region. When the kids are talking to the scientists about their projects, they're really talking with people who use science every day, who enjoy science, and have dedicated their lives to science. That's an amazing experience in itself."

Many of the 250 students expected to enter will win recognition for their work, with scholarships and cash prizes going to the top entries. Winners of high school age at the Tri-Valley event will be invited to take part in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, which brings together over 1,400 students from more than 40 countries to compete for scholarships, tuition grants, and internships. Middle school winners are eligible to compete at the California State Science and Engineering Fair.

Horner is justifiably proud of the quality of exhibits at the fair as well as the event's track record. "The projects that we get at the science fair are unbelievably wonderful. Our students who go on to compete at an international level usually take home awards."

In order to help make all this possible, the LLNL is also seeking business sponsors for the event. Sponsor packages include recognition in the event program, exposure on television, the World Wide Web, and in newspapers, invitations to the fair's VIP reception, and more. Deadline for sponsors is January 16.

For more information on the fair or to become a sponsor, contact Nadine Horner of the LLNL at (925) 423-9051 or .

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