On January 31st, Portola Highly Gifted Magnet (HGM) hosted its annual science fair, displaying all 7th and 8th grade students’ projects for judges to critique and grade. Afterwards, the judges chose a couple of students to advance to the next stage to compete in the county science fair held at Pasadena Convention Center on March 29th and 30th. Although I was not able to attend, many of my friends advanced and discovered that the county science fair was so much more beneficial and enlightening than the school science fair was.
The county science fair not only helped students gain confidence and knowledge about their interests, but it also encouraged them to find new interests and learn things about themselves they never knew before. Mabel Neyyan, a fellow student who attended the County Science Fair, said, “This science fair helped me form new connections with other students of different backgrounds from different schools and pushed me to try new things I never would have done if it weren’t for the science fair. I learned about different scientific methods in a non-restricting way, allowing me to use the most of my creative and intellectual abilities in a welcoming and positive atmosphere.”
The chosen 7th and 8th grade students were able to have a great time at the county science fair whilst learning new things and meeting other people. Because students from different schools all over the county came to compete, the fair was much more diverse. From the students to teachers and parents to judges and even to projects, everyone was able to meet new people and learn about new topics and projects they never even considered thinking about before.
Additionally, another major difference between the school science fair and the county science fair is that the county fair has a much more academic, yet ecstatic and positive aura and has so much more passion. The school science fair, although exciting and fun, was mandatory for all students. So, even though many of the students didn’t want to present their project, they were forced to. And because presenting our projects was a grade, some students didn’t have as much fun as others.
On the contrary, the county science fair didn’t require the chosen students to participate; although chosen, you could choose not to attend and compete. Thus, students who did participate in the county fair were much more excited and passionate about showing their awesome, innovative projects to judges and had a much bigger determination to do their best to win awards, recognitions, and honorable mentions in their categories.
After taking part in this amazing opportunity, fellow student Deanna Lee stated, “I’m so glad that I chose to take part in the county science fair. I definitely came back knowing a lot more than when I went.” She further stated, “Because the county science fair was so much more diverse than our school science fair, I met students I had never seen and learned about their ethnicity, school, interests and passions, and even about their historical backgrounds.”
Hearing about my friends talk about how great and precious of an opportunity the county science fair was, my determination to attend next year only exponentially soared. Next year, I hope to make a great, innovative project that will help me to meet new students of different backgrounds from other schools and take part in this enlightening and passionate experience.
Sabrina Mo, Grade 8
Portola Middle School