By Rose S. Prinzi
Ever wonder how to launch a homemade Alka Seltzer rocket or find the ideal bubble solution? What about how to build a shake table and test its structural integrity? Ah! How to test the speed of human movement? Not your average Saturday activity, but on a winter afternoon this past January, 42 area students from grades 5-12 gathered at Jamestown Community College to participate in a Family Science Adventure – a first in our area.
Jamestown Community College students volunteered as mentors, guiding the students through the three-hour exploration workshop. The fair director, Mary Eileen Wood, met with parents to discuss the role science and engineering experiences can play in a student’s discovery of his or her talents, success in school, and choosing a career.
The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation’s Community Service Fund made it possible for participants to attend this exciting event free of charge. While some New York State students have had a regional science fair since 1960, Chautauqua has not. The Tri Region Science and Engineering Fair (TRSEF) and the Foundation wanted to provide local youngsters with the same opportunity to exercise their academic skills as their counterparts in the rest of the state.
Even though families and educators recognize the importance of applied experiences to discover a child’s potential and passions, students’ chances to follow their passion in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics are painfully limited. A regional science fair opens this door to them. This workshop serves as a starting point for our local children, educators and other concerned adults to identify students with high potential who may be interested in advancing to the regional fair to be held in the Syracuse, NY, area on March 28th and 29th.
The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation is proud to support TRSEF’s efforts and commends our local students, their families and mentors who participated in the workshop. Information regarding the fair and registration procedures can be accessed at http:mysite.verizon.net/vzeuvcl2/.
The Community Foundation’s Community Service Funds go beyond making grants that advance only charitable activities. We also identify current and emerging issues, channel resources to address our community’s needs, and help our region prepare for the future. These grants are made possible through the generosity of those who have established or contributed to an unrestricted fund at the Foundation.
If you are interested in learning more about our Community Service Funds, go to our website at www.crcfonline.org or contact our staff at 661-3390. Application deadlines for these grants are March 31st, June 30th and December 1st.