Chester’s 39th Science Fair is a pipeline for STEM talent

Chester, NJ’s Science Fair  is one of the states largest. It provides a competitive opportunity for K-8th graders, make-your-own CO2-propelled race cars, as well as exhibits of birds, snakes, police technology etc.

Community members and judges (wearing lime green) view upper elementary school projects.

Participants from public and private schools range in age from kindergarteners through 8th graders.  In 2019, a total of 393 Chester area students presented 277 projects.  Awards include both ribbons and cash prizes.   This community event, now in its 39th year, has encouraged generations of students to choose STEM fields.

Participants who exhibit all nine years, from K-8, receive a lifetime achievement award.  Other specialty awards, meaning those in addition to ribbons awarded by judges, are listed at the end of this blog.

NJ Assemblyman Tony Bucco, Chester Township Mayor Marcia Asdal, and T-Rex

The science fair was also the place to meet dignitaries this snowy weekend.

Assemblyman Tony Bucco, son of Senator Anthony Bucco, both of the 25th legislative district, was present along with local mayors, county officials and school system superintendents.  Liberty Science Center (located near the Statue of Liberty park in Essex County) is a sponsor and participant.

Black River Middle School hosts the event.  Every classroom and area is put to use.  Maps were provided so one could sort between simultaneous exhibits.  In addition to the carbon-dioxide-propelled drag racing and animal close encounters were exhibits of Marine Mammals, the Morris County Bomb Squad Robot, Organic Chemistry Modeling and Circuit Design, Food Science, Beekeeping, Mosquito and Bugs for a total of 19 exhibits.

Parents and friends study lower elementary school exhibits while T-Rex roams.

Special Awards are sponsored by outside organizations who provide their own judges and criteria.  Students apply to compete for these awards.