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New science opportunity for Fauquier students

Tuesday, Feb. 25 | By Hannah Dellinger
The new Fauquier County Regional Science & Engineering Fair recently became affiliated with Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars.)

“It means that the Middle Schoolers aren’t going to be left out from the chance to progressing beyond regionals,” said FCRegionalSEF coordinator, Vineeta Ribeiro, in a phone conversation. “It gives them the opportunity to take their work and showcase it further.”

This new affiliation will allow Fauquier County to nominate the top 10 percent of middle school science fair projects to Broadcom MASTERS.

Ribeiro expects that there will be about 30 middle school projects in the regional fair, allowing for three nominations to MASTERS.

Those projects that are nominated will become part of a group of 300 semifinalists chosen nation-wide. The semifinalists receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. to present their projects. The top prizes range from $25,000 to $10,000.

Paula Golden, executive director of the Broadcom Foundation, said in an email that the company began sponsoring the international middle school science fair three years ago.

“Middle school is increasingly the focal point in many school districts and around the world, which is why Broadcom Foundation seized the opportunity to be the international sponsor three years ago,” said Golden. “Over 300 affiliated regional and state fairs now have middle school competitions and are eligible to nominate the top 10 percent to compete in the Broadcom MASTERS.”

According to Golden, Broadcom works to give middle schoolers an opportunity to explore their passion for science, technology, engineering and math in order to open up their eyes to college and career choices.

“Middle school is the pivotal point in education to keep options open and inspire kids to explore exciting careers,” said Golden. “Kids need critical 21st century skills to excel as engineers, scientists and innovators: critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity and confidence. The Broadcom MASTERS provides a dynamic platform for a student to develop these skills around a project he or she chooses.”

According to US News and World Report, the demand for students trained in science, technology, engineering and math fields may be even larger than previous studies have suggested. New data from Burning Glass Technologies shows that this growing field needs young trained minds ready for the work force.

FCRegionalSEF is also affiliated with the Intel Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s most prestigious high school science competition. Students from over 70 countries compete for over $4 million worth of prizes every year. 

The Fauquier regional fair will be able to send one high school winner (or winning team) to the international competition to compete with around 1,600 other students.  The winning regional team will get to go with a chaperone to the competition, all-expenses-paid.  This year’s Intel ISEF will be held in Los Angeles, Calif. in May.

FCRegionalSEF is set for March 22, 2014. For more information, visit http://www.FauquierScienceFair.com.

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