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Media Contact: Shell Amega, Paula Wagner or Isela Castillo
Media Contact: (213) 744-7446
Pager: (323) 410-3751
May 12, 2003
Over Nine Hundred Students Will Compete for Top Honors at 52nd California State Science Fair
Fair Showcasing Student Innovation to be Hosted by California Science Center
LOS ANGELES - The state’s top middle and senior high school students will participate in the final round of competition in the California State Science Fair, May 19-20, 2003 at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. 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.

The participants are students from around the state that have met the criteria of qualifying at the regional or county level before advancing to the State Science Fair. The projects span 19 categories – from aerodynamics 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 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.

Besides the recognition and prize money are the equally valuable, intangible benefits for students who participate in the fair. The process helps develop a unique set of abilities that can be applied in other areas of life, such as knowing how to use scientific methodology to solve a problem, 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 19 from 1-5 p.m. Admission is free.

Dr. Ahmed H. Zewail, Linus Pauling Chair Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Physics, and the Director of the Laboratory for Molecular Sciences at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, will be the keynote speaker during Opening Ceremonies Monday May 19 at 5 p.m. Dr. Zewail received the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in the development of a new field, femtoscience, making it possible to observe the movement of the individual atoms in a femtosecond. The fair culminates with an awards ceremony Tuesday, May 20 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 20 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. Reporters may also attend the Opening Ceremony on Monday, May 19 at 5 p.m. 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 20 after 8 p.m. Reporters may also contact the Communications Department at (213) 744-7446 for information on winners from their area beginning May 21.

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