Walk into 88 Fair Drive Costa Mesa and observe the exhibits that festoon the building with titles such as “Candy or Pill?” and “The Effect of Online Multitasking on Students’ Reading Comprehension.” Brilliantly colored signs announce the project category, ranging from Electronics to Botany to Physics to Microbiology.
This is the 57th Orange County Science and Engineering Fair (OCSEF), held at the Orange County Fair and Exposition Center in Costa Mesa from March 18th through March 20th, 2013. Since 1955, this program has existed to nourish understanding of the scientific method and inspire students to consider careers in science and engineering.
To participate in the OCSEF, all contestants established investigative questions, and then conducted extensive background research pertaining to their topics. Next, they proposed hypotheses for their projects and performed numerous experiments. After collecting and analyzing data, students drew conclusions and created a final report.
On the first day of the competition, March 18th, student winners of their respective district Science Fairs arrived in Costa Mesa and assembled their exhibits. They returned the following day, March 19th, for their interviews with judges, who evaluated the projects based on five criteria: Creativity, Scientific Thought, Thoroughness, Skill, and Clarity. March 20th concluded this year’s OCSEF, as the participants removed their exhibits and learned about projects created by their peers.
The Award Ceremony was held on Sunday, March 24th, at the Ebell Club Theater in Santa Ana. An exclusive number of students with best exhibits from the OCSEF are selected to compete in the California State Science Fair, a group of middle school students invited to enter the Broadcom MASTERS Competition, and an elite group of high school students chosen to participate in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Ultimately, top OCSEF award winners are scholars driven by curiosity in science, perseverance to complete the project, and determination to strive for academic excellence.
Names of the 2013 Orange County Science and Engineering Fair Winners will be posted on www.ocsef.org.
Article written by Annie Chang.