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600 projects to compete in science fair

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Don your safety goggles. Six hundred individual projects will compete for top honors at the 31st Annual Islandwide Science Fair this Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the University of Guam Science Building in Mangilao. Geared toward scientifically-inclined students between kindergarten and 12th-grade, the competition has various divisions encompass different age groups. Interested students who wish to register bring their project to the event site and set up today between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. All contestants must have a project number, issued by coordinators, to compete.

Though the top prize has remained virtually the same over the years, category winners will receive an added treat. The overall winner of the science fair will be given the opportunity to attend a space camp sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Sponsored Space Camp or the International Fair. Second overall winner will receive a laptop computer and category winners get the quintessential trophy and PlayStation Portables.
 
“The science fair helps stimulate young people's interest in the sciences. We need our children to be aware and excited about science  if we want to have enough doctors, nurses and engineers to run our power plants, agriculture specialists to provide our food and people to keep our drinking water safe or invent that next great invention,” explained UOG counselor and science fair secretary and board member Claudia Taitano.

The UOG counselor added that the science fair has “attracted thousands of students over the years. Some have gone on to become doctors in our own community,” said Taitano.

“Philip Dauterman, M.D., for example, is now a doctor on Guam and a former science fair participant. Another winner, Austin Shelton has gone on to graduate school in science in Hawaii.

Taitano credited the science fair’s popularity and longevity spanning more than 30 years, to its of board members, including president John Steele, M.D., vice president Dauterman and treasurer Gillian Hardman.

She added that the science fair benefits from sponsors such as Rino Manzano from Marianas Energy, Richard Parsons from Northwest, and Eloy Lizama from Shell Guam. “Our major sponsors dedicated support and UOG’s support really have kept us going. We also have a good relationship with our military partners.”

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