The following is a true story on how the Mastodon Fair impacted Chris’ life.
Chris was a Junior when he first entered the Science Fair. He was stunned when he was called in for the finalist interviews and, when told he should dress in good clothes, said his best was clean blue jeans. He didn’t own any dress clothes. Chris won and willingly accepted coaching to help prep him for the International Science and Engineering Fair competition. When he arrived for coaching, his family of five, one grandparent and one uncle all arrived too…and asked if they could just sit quietly and watch the coaching. I was surprised to see the immense pride in their faces. For two hours, Mom, Dad and the entourage watched and listened. After talking with the family, they all took the hour drive up together because it was the first time anyone in their family had won such an award. His parents said they would figure out a way to get new charts done, get Chris some dress clothes and would help him practice his speech.
At the next meeting, every change was done, his speech was rehearsed and his little sister proclaimed she listened the “mostest times” of anyone. His grandfather bought him his first suit and dress pants to go with his first plane trip. Chris announced he was going to attend Jefferson College. His parents beamed…he would be the first family member to ever go to college. I asked Chris if he wasn’t already planning to go to college and he responded, “No, I never thought I was smart enough. When I won the top award at the Mastodon Fair, I thought that I must be…so, why not try.”
I ran into Chris as a Jefferson College student, and he told me of his dream to become a business manager and get his bachelor’s degree. He was working his way up the ladder at retail locations and “would someday own his own business”. I asked him if, two years ago he thought he would be in college, on his way to making his dream happen. His answer is the reason I love working for the Fair…Chris said, “Deep down I knew I could, but winning the Fair made me believe in myself enough to try.” Today Chris graduated from Jefferson College with a Associates degree in Business and is finishing his bachelors degree while managing a restaurant. He said that every day he still draws upon the public speaking skills he learned, the experience of dealing with different cultures, and the research skills that he learned during his years of participation in the Mastodon Fair. Chris has also become a role model for his younger siblings. His 5 year old sister tugged on my shirt and announced so very proudly, “I am going to go to college just like Chris did!” Changing student’s lives by encouraging the art in science and the science in art is what the Mastodon Fair is all about!
“I learned perseverance and dedication with my projects.” By Libby Scott
|I want to congratulate the Mastodon Fair on being the greatest art and science fair for 30 years! The Mastodon Fair taught me some great lessons in the 12 years that I spent entering projects in the fair. I learned to work hard and give my best – building year after year on my knowledge and talent. Art projects are hard! Through all of the frustrations, I learned perseverance and dedication with my projects. The Mastodon Fair and its staff gave me something to look forward to every year! The Mastodon Fair is such a wonderful learning opportunity. I encourage all students to participate!|
The Mastodon Fair gave me the opportunity to practice science early!
I have always had a passion for science and am fortunate to be pursuing it as my career. One thing that helped me develop my love for science was the opportunity to take part in the Mastodon Fair. The experience allowed me to begin understanding everything that goes into setting up/conducting experiments, interpreting data, and writing up my results.
I have been able to take that basic knowledge I learned from the fair and use it to build upon through the rest of my education. I am now pursuing my Ph.D. in microbiology and am grateful for the opportunity that the Mastodon Fair provided me with to begin practicing science early.
Maggie (Christ) Schlarman
Doctoral Candidate, MMI/Vet Path
GPC State Issues
This is not a drill…
By Jake Hertenstein
|What an extraordinary experience it was, to face off with the greatest young minds, the leaders of tomorrow, and the solutions to today’s science and technological problems, and at such a young age to be immersed in the intensely driven society of academic and industrial pursuits to the betterment of our small but complex world. The ISEF fairs helped me to realize and achieve my dreams through early, intimate experience with scientific and engineering methods.All things being relative, I’ve come a long way since 2003.
“This is no drill or exercise, your local science fair is a real opportunity, a launching pad and catalyst for success.”
I’ve received my BS in Computer Engineering at Missouri S&T (formerly UMR), spent a year in the industry, five years on a Formula SAE Racing team designing innovative electronics for high performance vehicles, researched a new method for the detection of low power electronic devices for the use by the armed forces and received my MS in Systems Engineering. I am currently a systems engineer for Mark Andy, Inc., designing a way to have machines use the internet to do all the business processes (called web flexography) normally done on-site., … and I’m just getting started.
This is no drill or exercise, your local science fair is a real opportunity, a launching pad and catalyst for success.What an extraordinary experience it was, to face off with the greatest young minds, the leaders of tomorrow, and the solutions to today’s science and technological problems, and at such a young age to be immersed in the intensely driven society of academic and industrial pursuits to the betterment of our small but complex world. The ISEF fairs helped me to realize and achieve my dreams through early, intimate experience with scientific and engineering methods.