Volunteer judges listen to a student’s presentation at the 2009 Science and Engineering Fair of Houston.
Some 1,400 middle school and high school students from across the greater Houston area will compete this week on Thursday and Friday in the 51st annual Science and Engineering Fair of Houston at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston.
The University of Houston-Downtown sponsors the fair each year as part of its community outreach. UHD President William V. Flores will welcome students and their families and teachers at the awards ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 13, at the convention center.
Larry Spears, executive director of the science fair and a professor of chemistry at UHD, said the fair builds skills and confidence. "The Science and Engineering Fair has given thousands of local students a challenging environment where they can practice their skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and be recognized for their work," he said.
Hundreds of volunteers organize the fair and volunteer judges with expertise in specialized areas evaluate student presentations, review projects and provide helpful feedback. Middle and high school student winners receive scholarships and prizes, and many move on to compete at the state level. Seven grand award winners go on to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
"Preparing students in middle school and high school for advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees will help ensure the state and the nation's competitiveness in the fields the U.S. needs for economic and technological success," Spears said.
The fair serves as the regional fair for all public, private, charter and home school junior and senior high school students in Harris County and 23 surrounding counties.
The University of Houston-Downtown, the Engineering, Science & Technology Council of Houston, the Greater Houston Partnership, the Consumer Energy Alliance and the Houston Museum of Natural Science sponsor the fair.