40th Annual Hillsborough Regional STEM Fair

The 40th Annual Hillsborough Regional Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Fair, held at the Tampa Convention Center on January 28th and 29th, 2020, is the largest academic competition in Florida and one of the largest in the nation with more than 100,000 students in grades k-12 competing at their schools in order to qualify for the regional fair.

Every year FLATE supports the Hillsborough County Public Schools by serving as a judge for the Junior/Senior division of the Annual Hillsborough Regional Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Fair. During the event, more than 600 STEM professionals around the Tampa Bay area served as a regional judge reviewing 1500+ elementary-senior students. Only 26 projects will represent Hillsborough County in the 2020 Florida State Science and Engineering Fair, where over $200,000 worth of scholarships and awards will be provided to students.

Students experience firsthand the creativity and perseverance required for the high-level achievement, and guests have the opportunity to see future STEM leaders in action. Danielly Orozco, Associate Director for FLATE, was part of the environmental engineering judges and had the opportunity to review and interview the best final junior and seniors’ projects.

Larry Plank, the director for K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education, said, “This is not a single day event. Students have spent months or even years working on their projects. The 40th Anniversary #STEMFair included thousands of site-based winners who competed at the regional level for an opportunity to win cash and prizes. For the middle and high school students, an opportunity awaits to continue the journey at the state and international levels.”
Even for those many students who do not “win”, STEM, Science, and/or Engineering Fairs are important triggers for our youth to become hooked on STEM.  These fairs and competitions encourage STEM hands-on explorations, creative thinking, engagement with industry professionals and communication skills development. They provide an avenue for students to learn outside the more traditional classroom experiences which might be all they need to start a love for STEM.    FLATE encourages everyone to support these events their communities.
 FLATE thank the sponsors as well as all judges and volunteers who assisted during three days at the Tampa Convention Center.

2020 STEM fair sponsors: STEM Hillsborough County Public Schools, the Tampa Bay STEM Network and Florida Foundation to support Future Scientists.

For more information about FLATE, please visit fl-ate.org or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, Executive Director of FLATE, at mbarger@fl-ate.org.

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