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Copywrite 2001-2004, California Science Center
Media Contact: Shell Amega or Paula Wagner
Media Contact: (213) 744-7446
Pager: (323) 410-3751
May 13, 2002
Young Scientists-in-the-Making Compete for Top Honors at the 51st California State Science Fair
Nobel Laureate Dr. Louis Ignarro Set to Give Keynote Address at Opening Ceremony
LOS ANGELES - More than 900 of the state's top middle and senior high school students will convene for the final round of competition in the California State Science Fair, May 20-21, 2002 at the California Science Center in Exposition Park. Winners will take home a combined total of $40,000 in cash prizes provided by THE MUSES and Los Angeles Rotary Club, co-sponsors of the event.

Students from around the state must first qualify at the regional or county level before advancing to the State Science Fair. The projects span 19 categories - from aerodynamics/hydrodynamics to zoology - and will be judged by a volunteer pool of over 350 scientists and engineers from private industry and higher education. In addition to the winners in each category, top honors will go to Student of the Year (senior only), and Project of the Year (in both junior and senior high divisions). Science teachers, nominated by junior and senior high school students, will also compete for Science Teacher of the Year. The selection is determined by a panel representing the California Science Teachers Association, the California Science Center, THE MUSES, the Los Angeles Rotary Club and educators.

Ideas for projects often come from real-life experiences. Antibacterial Hand Sanitizers: Hype or Help?, and Echinacea: Myth or Miracle?, project titles in this year's competition, all reinforce the notion that science really is a part of everyday life. In addition to the recognition and prize money, participating in the fair has side benefits for students. The process gives them the opportunity to develop a unique set of abilities, such as using scientific methodology to reach a conclusion, marketing techniques to create clever project titles and eye-catching graphic displays, and interviewing skills to explain their research to Science Fair judges.

The public is invited to see this year's projects during the public viewing period on Monday, May 20 from 1-5 p.m. Admission is free.

Dr. Louis Ignarro, professor of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology at the University of California, Los Angeles, will share his experiences and inspire the young scientists with the keynote address during Opening Ceremonies May 20 at 5 p.m. Dr. Ignarro received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1998 for his contributions to the discovery of nitric oxide as a signalling molecule in the cardiovascular system. The fair culminates with an awards ceremony Tuesday, May 21 at 5 p.m. in the Science Fair tent next to the Science Center.

The California Science Center is located at 700 State Drive in Exposition Park, Los Angeles. Parking is $6 per car in the visitor lot at 39th and Figueroa Street.

Reporter / Editor / Producer Note:
Reporters interested in viewing projects with students on-hand for interviews should plan to visit Tuesday, May 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Please check in at the Information Desk inside the Science Center. After 12:30 p.m., students will be dismissed and after 3:30 p.m., the projects will be dismantled. For general information on the California State Science Fair, please visit www.casciencectr.org/CSSF/. Names of the winners will be posted on this site May 21 after 8 p.m. Reporters may also contact the Communications Department at (213) 744-7446 for information on winners from their area beginning May 22.

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