By Dawn Krebs
ST. LUCIE COUNTY -- The next generation of scientists filled three floors of the Kight Center at Indian River State College last week as the St. Lucie County Regional Science Fair held its milestone 25th year.
More than 300 middle and high school projects were entered in this year's fair, and ranged from using ocean currents to generating electricity to the reproductions of amoeba.
All the schools were represented, from middle schools and K-8s to the high school level. It also included magnet schools, charter schools and the Olivet Private Academy School.
"These kids have worked so hard," said Beth Bonvie, one of the committee members for the science fair. "The projects are exceptional this year."
Thanks to a partnership with IRSC, the science fair was able to use one of its buildings to display the projects. Junior-level science projects took over the main floor, while senior-level projects occupied the second and third floors. In all, 13 fields of science from social science to zoology sat next to each other.
From the community, dozens of scientists, engineers and other experts came to the science fair on Feb. 8 to act as judges for the event.
The projects were open for the public to view on Feb. 7. The next day, students came to stand by their projects and answer questions during the judging. The winning projects were announced in a special ceremony on Feb. 12. The junior and senior division each received a first-, second- and third place award for each category.
In addition, a number of special awards were given to specific projects from organizations such as the American Meteorological Society.
"This event was a collaboration among the schools, the science fair coordinators and the district," Ms. Bonvie said. "But it took the extra time and dedication put in by the students, parents and judges to make this a memorable event, and their efforts are greatly appreciated.
The winners will be announced in next week's Hometown News.