Franklin County science and tech fair turns 30

April 12, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER |

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Don’t underestimate where the next big idea will come from.

It might even come from the 30th annual Franklin Science and Technology Fair this Saturday at Chambersburg Area Middle School South.

Diane McCallum, fair chairwoman and Chambersburg Area School District K-12 science supervisor, said she hopes the community comes out Saturday to see the excellent work that Franklin County youth are capable of producing.

The fair is open to students in grades K-12 in Franklin County public, private, cyber and home schools, according to event organizers.


Students are asked to bring their entries to CAMS-South on Friday, between 4 and 6 p.m. with judging to begin at 6 p.m. on Friday.

Admission is free to Saturday’s event, which is open to the public from noon to 4 p.m. The exhibits will be in CAMS-South gym and cafeteria.

She said hundreds of students will set up more than 400 displays, in the gym and cafeteria, showcasing everything from robots to the best brands of toothpaste in categories such as earth science, life science and physical science.

It’s not just about reading things in the textbook, it’s about putting what you learn into action by doing hands-on experiment, event organizers said.

This is the future generation, and we should be proud of them, McCallum said.

“I’m always amazed at the complexity of projects that students do. There are just some really neat things that the students do. Last year, the young lady that won the fair built a solar cell,” McCallum said. “It’s just amazing to me what they do with the limited time they have while doing this on their own time.

In 2007, Caitlyn Hill, 19, was a ninth-grader at Waynesboro (Pa.) Area Senior High School.

She entered the fair in seventh, eighth, ninth grade and 11th grades.

For her, he wasn’t about winning – it was about having fun doing experiments with one of her favorite subjects science.

Reading textbooks is helpful, but doing experiments really makes things more real, she said.

She won the 2007 championship with her project on how capsaicin, in hot peppers, affects the growth of bacteria.

Now, Hill attends Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY., focusing on science.

To recignize the 30th anniversary of the fair, a special competition will be held for this year’s first-place winners.

On April 21 at the Chambersburg Area School District Administrative Building on Stanley Avenue in Chambersburg, students can bring their projects at 8:15 a.m. and give an oral presentation with judging to follow at 11 a.m.

The champion will receive $100 and the grand champion will win $250.

For more information on the science fair, log onto

Editor's note: This story was edited April 12, 2012, to correct the time that students can bring their projects to the Chambersburg Area School District Administrative Building to 8:15 a.m. April 21.

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