On Friday, April 22, the Heber Dunaway Gymnasium at Lee, Kentucky, County Middle High School in will be packed with students proudly showing off their science fair projects to their fellow classmates, teachers, parents, and, of course, the judges.
And with the help of the supporters of Americans Helping Americans®, we will be able to provide grant funding to the school’s Youth Service Center to purchase supplies and materials for students to use to design and construct their science projects, and award prizes to the winners.
“We would like to organize a science fair for our middle school students and our 10th grade class, with prizes for their hard work and participation,” said YSC Director Jennifer Wilder in her application to Americans Helping Americans® requesting the funding.
“We live in a rural Appalachia and poverty is at an all-time high,” she told us. “Families cannot afford to help with these supplies. The science department has no money for such a program and limited resources.”
The school, located Beattyville, Kentucky, described by The New York Times as one of the “hardest” places in the country to live, has a student body where 76 percent are considered “economically disadvantaged” and 72 percent qualify for the free lunch program.
Jennifer commented that the benefits to the students of being able to participate in a science fair are many.
“A science fair will allow students to learn problem-solving and critical thinking skills…and allow students to conduct experiments based on their interest,” she said. “They will also learn independent skills such as time management, responsibility, organization, and communication.”
All middle school students will be taking part in the science fair as well as the 10th grade class.
“We currently have two science teachers eager to get started with this project,” says Jennifer. “We will also work with the Future Farmers of America instructor, art and computer classes, and any other departments as needed.”
She noted that the school has not been able to host a science fair “in such a long time” and she’s not sure if it’s ever been done before on this scale.
“Real research is done for science fairs,” she said. “Students will learn from doing a science project, even if it’s a computer program, public speaking and communication skills.
“The benefits go beyond learning science.”