Category Archives: Science Fair
I wept when I saw this photo on Facebook today. I weep as I write this. Science Fair was my salvation!
I was a teen when my family hit really hard times.
Fortunately, I was a kid who was a native of Washington DC. Four generations of my family had nourished our minds and souls at the Smithsonian Museums.
When I was a girl, Mother would pack me a sack lunch and pin two streetcar tokens to my blouse and off I would go to spend the day at the museums on the Washington Mall.
Natural History was my favorite one, especially the Hall of Minerals. I loved crystals.
Later, my science fair project would be about crystals. I grew crystals in a strong electrostatic field and observed the changes in their behavior under the influence of that field.
Even as my family was collapsing around me, I continued with my project. I did well in the school fairs and the regional fair. When I was a senior in high school, I won first Grand Prize in the Regional Science Fair and won a trip to the International Science and Engineering Fair in St. Louis.
As a result, I won enough scholarships that I could attend college. I completed my BS in Chemistry in 3 1/2 years.
Later, I would earn an MS in Human Physiology.
And later, my MD.
All because of Science Fair.
When my daughter started first grade I started volunteering to judge school, district and regional science fairs. I did so for 16 years. I judged twice at International.
My daughter was a science fair kid, too.
I coached her science fair classes starting when she was in 9th grade.
I taught the science fair kids to watch three movies:
* October Sky, because science fair CAN be your ticket “out”.
* Space Monkeys, because sometimes the judges give it to the monkeys.
* Cool Runnings, because, “If you are not OK before you win the gold medal, you won’t be OK after you win it.”
I am happy to say that science fair taught my wonderful daughter poise and grace under fire from science fair judges. She’s an alumna of the International Science and Engineering fair, too. She’s a PA and holds her own BS and MS.
So, you see, I wept when I saw the photo at the top of this blog. Because of science fair, I have three degrees. Because of science fair I’ve written two books, three columns for national magazines, many articles for national magazines and now this blog.
Thank you, Science Fair!