Science fair heaven

Today I felt as though I had died and gone to science fair heaven. Heaven, in this case, was the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, WA — a bit beyond my normal commute, but still within reach. It was time for NWABR‘s 11th annual Student Bio Expo.

I arrived at the gates not to be judged but ready to judge others — in particular, the entrants in the expo’s Music division. This was a very pleasant task for several reasons. The other Music judge was a nice guy with several years of experience, so he knew exactly what to do. The small number of entries (four) in our division meant that we were able to spend a good amount of time on each one. And the projects themselves were really neat! There were two orchestral pieces, one about DNA testing in the courtroom and one about medical disorders and therapies related to music; an electronic composition about schizophrenia; and a folk-rock tune about orthodontics. The students worked hard on these projects and learned a lot of science along the way even though most of them will not go on to become professional scientists. As NWABR’s press release says, “By applying their own talents to their projects, students are motivated to see the connection between science and their own lives and interests.”

As far as I know, the above-mentioned pieces are not yet available for public consumption, but some other links exemplify the overall coolness of the event. There was, for example, a hilarious video about gene therapy for blindness (from the Multimedia category). Last year’s Multimedia entries included an animated song video about Crohn’s Disease, which is also quite funny.

Kudos to NWABR for giving students the chance to be creative and artistic in their explorations of biomedical science.

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