Students from across Lambton County are being encouraged to enter this year’s Lambton County Science Fair, as the event looks to build back up to pre-pandemic numbers.
“We’re still recovering from the impact of COVID-19, rebuilding the number of projects,” a news release noted. “In 2019, we had 94 projects entered; in 2022 it was only 41 projects.”
The event, marking its 50th year as a registered charity, and 49th fair — it was cancelled in 2020 — returns to Lambton College March 31 and April 1, 2023.
“We’re back in the college again this year, in the bigger new gymnasium which will give us plenty of room to ensure good separation between the tables.”
Few, if any, schools still run their own science fairs, typically because the curriculum no longer gives teachers time for other activities, the group noted.
The fair is open to Lambton County students in Grades 3 to 12, with projects to be judged under four age categories: exhibition (Grades 3-5); junior (6-8); intermediate (9/10); and senior (11/12).
Certificates and cash prizes will be presented to winners in the College Ballroom, while the best projects in the intermediate and senior categories are eligible to go to the Canada Wide Science Fair.
Last year, Lambton County Science Fair winner and St. Pat’s student Annabelle Rayson went on to earn multiple prizes at the Canada-Wide event, then won third prize at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS).
Her project — “Plankton Wars: An Innovative Analysis of Daphnia Genotype Biomanipulation for Algae Bloom Prevention” — was one of two Canadian entries, representing Youth Science Canada.
In August, she received the prestigious 2022 Stockholm Junior Water Prize — just the third Canadian to win the competition since 1995.
“We are very fortunate to get the kind of support we do in Lambton County,” the group stated. “Every year almost 100 judges talk to the students about their projects and help us award the prizes.
“In addition, although donations have been down a bit over the last few years, we are grateful for the financial support we receive from both large and small donors… we simply could not run such a successful event without the widespread support of the community.
Organizers are also looking for information from anyone who may have been involved in the earlier science fairs in Lambton.
“Records don’t go back as far as 1973, and we know that the fair was running for a long time before then,” said committee chair Stephanie Lobsinger. “We are hoping that former science fair participants can help us learn more about those early years.”
Anyone who took part in the science fair in those early days is invited to post their story on the group’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/LambtonCountyScienceFair).
Registration for the Lambton County Science Fair is online and must be completed by 5 p.m. on March 24th. For more information, visit www.lambtoncountysciencefair.ca