Last week, I volunteered as a special awards judge on behalf of Philadelphia SWE at the Delaware Valley Science Fair (DVSF). I was one of over 400 judges at this fair which was held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.
To give some background about the DVSF, there are about 900 students in 6th through 12th grade at this fair who qualified for DVSF by winning / placing at their fair on a local level earlier this school year. As part of the SWE special award, our pool of potential award winners were young women at the fair in the engineering category or had engineering-related projects in a different category. Of those we interviewed, I was blown away by the caliber of science experiments and the interview skills of these young women. Some of these kids even have pending patents related to their research!
Additionally many of the young women placed first in their category and/or grade. It was great to see so many young women participating with engineering-related project, but even better to see that they were excelling when compared the rest of their category including qualifying for the International Science and Engineering Fair.
It was a worthwhile experience and I would recommend volunteering next year as a judge to anyone who is able.