I just got back from a great weekend of hanging out with friends and SCIENCE! This weekend was the state science fair WSSEF in Bremerton, WA. It's two days of all ages science (K-12). More than a thousand projects were entered from all around the state, and more than a hundred judges were there to critique and appreciate the work of those students.
Two of those judges were my friend Karen and me. We saw some great projects, we met some great students, and generally had a good time. I'll hope to get back to why this type of volunteering matters soon, but I wanted to updated the totals today.
Science fair day is a long day for students. Anxious enthusiastic students wait for friends, family, and most nerve wrackingly, judges to talk about their projects. The state fair is a two day event, with judges ranking students, then comparing rankings and evening assigning special awards. I think I talked to 9 projects on Friday, and 12 on Saturday. This is how Karen and I wracked up nearly 24 volunteer hours over the weekend.
The coolest part about science fair is getting to talk to students to encourage their interest in things they are already enjoying. It's really impressive how much time and effort parents, teachers and mentors are able to put into this type of event. When Karen and I left, a dedicated group of volunteers was stuffing award packets- a process that would probably take hours as the night wore on. It's a great feeling of community, and I'm so glad we got to help out!