COALTON, Ky. — Success is in the numbers, and for Ashland Community and Technical College’s Science and Engineering Fair, the numbers are way up.
This year’s fair which happens Friday at the ACTC EastPark campus, will feature 133 projects entered by 192 students, which is 82 more projects and 83 more students than last year, director Mia Brown said.
There are more schools too — 45 this year compared to 35 last year.
And more high schools are starting to pay attention — the fair will feature 25 projects from 39 students at 10 high schools where last year’s event only attracted 16 students with nine projects from three schools, Brown said.
“Superintendents and teachers have really come together to boost the fair,” Brown said.
Educators appreciate the platform the fair provides to build leadership and soft skills, which are interpersonal skills such as communication ability, time management and teamwork, she said. Both are in demand under Kentucky’s new accountability system which emphasizes college and career readiness.
Now in its fifth year, the fair has revamped its categories to reflect Kentucky’s career and educational pathways, Brown said.
Categories include biomedical and behavioral health sciences, animal, plant, and environmental sciences, math, engineering and computer sciences, physics and astronomy, and chemistry.
Entrants will set up their projects early Friday morning and judges will spend about two hours evaluating them, which includes quizzing students on how they performed their experiments and what they learned.
Among the categories, chemistry attracted the most entries with 61; 24 of those were elementary students.
Biomedical and behavioral health sciences brought 46 entries, math, engineering and computer sciences has 34, animal, plant and environmental sciences has 31 and physics and astronomy has 20.