Lambton County Science Fair bucking trend in its popularity

Deadline for online registration is April 4; two-day event is April 8 and 9 at Lambton College

Keenan Reidhead and Jace McGrail, with their 'Best of Division' prize winning project "Road Salt: What is the Best Alternative" from last year's Lambton County Science Fair.
Priyank Patel won last year's Best of Senior Division award for his "A Novel Approach to Energy Generation and Storage: Axial Flux Generators and Supercapacitors."
Priyank Patel won last year’s Best of Senior Division award for his “A Novel Approach to Energy Generation and Storage: Axial Flux Generators and Supercapacitors.”

There was a time when the annual science fair was a part of the calendar at every school, but those days are long gone. Today the school science fair is a rare event, and even county fairs are disappearing from a lack of support.

It is refreshing, therefore, to see that the Lambton County Science Fair is bucking the trend, with a steady, and even slightly growing, rate of student participation. Open to students in grades 3 through 12, the fair attracted 79 registered projects last year from 100 students. Even allowing for a few “no shows,” last year set a new record for entrants in recent years.

Organizers believe Lambton County’s success is due to three factors: a high proportion of scientists and engineers in the area, who encourage their children to pursue their love of science; the financial support received from local industry and commerce that understands the value of promoting science to students; and finally, to a tradition of volunteer support. It’s a community event, requiring not only financial support, but a stable and experienced organizing committee, and around 75 judges to talk with the students about their projects and award the prizes.

The fair, which is open to the public, is held in the gymnasium at Lambton College over two days. Judging will take place 6-9 p.m. on Friday, April 8 and continue the following morning (Saturday, April 9) from 9 a.m. until noon, with the award ceremony taking place at p.m. in the Lambton College Ballroom. Entrants are divided into four age groups: Exhibition (Grades 3-5); Junior (Grades 6-8); Intermediate (Grades 9 & 10); and Senior (Grades 11 &12).

Vraj Shah, with his robotic hand project "Helping Hand," was last year's winner of the Llew Falla Innovation Award.
Vraj Shah, with his robotic hand project “Helping Hand,” was last year’s winner of the Llew Falla Innovation Award.

Not only are students in all groups eligible for numerous sponsored prizes, but up to five students from the Intermediate and Senior categories may win the opportunity to compete in the Canada Wide Science Fair being held in Montreal on May 15-20 this year. Students from Lambton County have gone on to win a number of major prizes at the Canada Wide Fair, said organizing committee chair Stephanie Lobsinger. “We’ve been well represented by our students, and consistently make a good showing.”

Further information and Registration for the fair can be found at Registration closes on April 4.

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