Monday, July 8, 2013

Reflections from the Ninth Annual Contra Costa Science
& Engineering Fair, 2013

From March 21-23, 2013, 391 students along with 261 projects competed in the Ninth Annual Contra Costa County Science and Engineering Fair (CCCSEF) which was held at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, California. In the Fair, high school students were challenged to compete with their recent science projects and were then judged by local supporters of the event. Bishop-Wisecarver Group was one of the gold sponsors of the event, along with local businesses such as the Contra Costa Water & Waste Water Agencies, Eichleay Engineers of California, Galaxy Press, and Shell Oil.
Bishop-Wisecarver's Ben Domingo judges CCSEF 2013

Applications Engineer Ben Domingo was selected by Bishop-Wisecarver to represent the organization at this event, and Ben was excited to participate in the evaluation and judging of the projects the students presented.

“It is a great experience to see kids convey such enthusiasm towards science and engineering, and the level of detail and research that is evident in their projects is pretty impressive,” Domingo shared with us following the event.

The high school students competed in six categories: Behavioral Sciences/Social Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Math/Computer Sciences, and Physical Sciences, and were further divided based on grade level: Junior Division, grades 7-8, and Senior Division, grades 9-12.

The CCCSEF Fair is an event that endeavors to stimulate interest and enthusiasm in science. It also provides the opportunity to give public recognition to students for their achievements and to encourage them to enter careers related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Additionally, the Fair affords parents and the community an opportunity to examine scientific investigation products and the communication skills of students in our schools today.

In the morning, the judge teams evaluated the assigned student’s project boards, and in the afternoon, they interviewed the students. The student's commitment to the project is carefully evaluated, as is the level of research and extent of innovation.

Students were judged based on both the poster boards which they presented on their project, as well as the interview that they conducted on their work. The following criteria were used to evaluate both aspects of each project:

Poster Board
 • Creative ability
 • Citations/background research
 • Experimental design (non-engineering)
 • Engineering (Structures Projects only)
 • Data analysis
 • Skill
 • Clarity

 • Creative ability
 • Scientific thought or engineering goals
 • Thoroughness
 • Effort
 • Clarity

“I would definitely participate in this event again,” said Domingo. “It is not only a great opportunity for Bishop-Wisecarver to be involved in, but the energy and depth of thinking that goes into this type of activity aligns directly with my hope that young people can gain greater exposure to science, technology, engineering, and math. These are cutting edge fields, and I’m glad we are promoting them within the community.”