Hundreds of students participate at the Kern County Science Fair

Amy Sarmiento, Reporter

The annual Kern County Science Fair was on March 12 at the Rabobank Arena Convention Center. Hundreds of students from grades 4 to 12 had a chance to participate.

The Kern County Science Fair is sponsored by the Kern County Science Foundation.

Joe Saldivar, a professor of Biology at Bakersfield College gave a speech at the Science Fair focusing on curiosity and why it is necessary for children to be curious how children are similar scientists.

“As children and young adults, we’re very curious, and as we grow up we lose our curiosity. I’m going to argue that every single one of us, we were all born scientists,” Saldivar stated.

He made his point that all children are natural-born scientists because of their curiosity and using all of their five senses to experiment and come to conclusions, just like scientists do.

Saldivar had volunteers come up on stage and try a few experiments together such as attempting to break an egg by using the pressure of their hand, which no one was able to do.

He also had volunteers taste test a flavored stick for the audience to see how different each person reacts to the same flavor.

“As kids we’re curious, we explore, we use imagination and as we become an adult we start having life experiences and become book smart. But remember, we need to remain open minded because things change. I have to remind myself maybe I’m wrong. As an adult the three most difficult words to say are ‘I don’t know’ but it’s okay, because you can always say ‘I don’t know yet’ and that is the key,” Saldivar said.

Saldivar also argued that STEM careers are not limited to just science, technology, engineering, or mathematics because it also includes arts, economics, and entertainment as well.

He explained how science is around everyone at all times and everywhere and encouraged students to pursue a career in the STEM field that interests them most, and to remain curious.

After the speech, the stage opened for the audience to approach the projects and for judges to begin critiquing.

The Kern County Superintendent of Schools requested 200 volunteers to judge 650-700 projects for 2019.

Some of the categories included Astronomy, Earth and Environmental Science, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics and Games, Physics, Plant Biology, Food and Health Science.

Every student who exhibited their project received a participation award, and only the top three projects in each category received medals.

Those who were chosen had the opportunity to move on to the California State Science Fair.