Officials said the event initially started as an event on the ESF campus with only 30 participants, and has now grown to feature anywhere from 300 to 500 SCSD students.
Brandon Murphy, Technology/Project Coordinator at SUNY ESF, coordinated the event.
According to Murphy, the all-inclusive experience students get when they participate in the challenge is what sets the event apart from other competitions.
“Part of the spirit of it is that it’s a more inclusive science fair,” he stated. “Our intention is to provide students with the experience of doing a research project, and presenting it to outside people. We also try to do campus tours while students are here. It’s about the whole experience—not just winning an award.”
This year, students from Clary, Danforth, Ed Smith, ELMS, Frazer, Grant, Huntington, H.W. Smith, Huntington, Lincoln, Roberts and Westside Academy at Blodgett participated in the challenge, then presented their findings to judges.
According to Murphy, at least three people judged each project, in order to give students the exposure of interacting with a variety of people.
“I like science because it’s interesting – you get to discover new things,” said Iganacio Casanova, a student at Westside Academy at Blodgett.
Nearly 100 judges, including ESF faculty, students, and local businesspeople, volunteered at the event, judging the more than 400 projects which were presented in the competition.