Seventh annual event grew from 18 exhibits in its first year to 124 exhibits now

Published in the February 1 – 14, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life


By Staff Report

Students from local middle schools and high schools got hands-on experience in the process of scientific thinking with a record 124 exhibits at the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce’s 7th Annual Citywide Science Fair held at Oakwood School Jan. 12.

This year’s number of student science exhibits, judged in four categories of physical, chemistry, biology and behavioral sciences, is up by six from last year which had 118 exhibits, said science fair co-organizer Marilyn Librers. The first science fair held seven years ago at the Community and Cultural Center brought in 18 exhibits.

Morgan Hill’s science fair is open to both public, home, and private middle school and high school students in the boundaries of the Morgan Hill Unified School District.
“Morgan Hill’s science fair has grown a lot and I think it will continue to grow each year,” she said. “Hopefully, we won’t outgrow our space because we’re so thankful to Oakwood for the donation of their facility.”

Winners in all categories are encouraged to proceed with their experience by advancing with their experiment exhibits into the Synopsys Science & Technology Championship, a Silicon Valley science fair held in San Jose March 22-23 and open to school students through Santa Clara County.

“This year we had a number of judges who were also affiliated with Synopsys, so we had some great judges who were really use to doing this,” Librers said. “That brought the level of judging up a bit. Instead of asking friends here and there to be a judge, we got some really official type judges, and I think that was a positive move that made this year’s fair even better.”

Martin Murphy and Britton middle schools hold their own campus science fairs for eighth graders who are required by the science curriculum to participate. The winners of those schools often proceed to the citywide fair, she said.

“It it really does encourage every student to do something,” she said. “Now they don’t all go on to our science fair, but at least they’re getting the exposure of having to talk to judges and getting the thought process of a project, whatever category it might be in.”

Librers encourages students at Live Oak, Sobrato and Central high schools to get involved in next year’s science fair, perhaps doing their experiments during the summer months before the school year starts when they might have time to work on projects.

Librers said she was impressed by the number of girls in this year’s science fair and the quality of their exhibits.

“For someone my age, science was something that boys did – kind of like math. There were a few brainiac (girl students), there always is, but for the most part girls were not doing this kind of stuff,” she said. “And to see the thought process in the projects that the girls did, you see that they are truly, along with men, part of our future in technology.”