550 Southwest Florida students to compete January 20, 2018 despite Hurricane Irma’s fury for over 30 scholarships

For Immediate Release

Contact – Re: Thomas A. Edison Regional Science & Inventor Fairs– Media inquiries to
Jim Helms 
jimbhelms@hotmail.com or call 239-432-0970

Less than five months after Hurricane Irma devastated much of Lee and Charlotte Counties with catastrophic damage to several neighborhoods, causing significant damage to schools, suspension of classroom time and remarkable extra demands on teachers, students and staff, science and invention education is back on track in our community.

Saturday January 20, 2018, approximately 550 students will participate in the 61th Annual Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis Science and Engineering Fair (open to the public as early as 3PM or upon completion of the judging) and the 31th Annual Thomas A. Edison Festival of Light Regional Inventors Fair (open to the public at 1PM). Public, private and home-schooled students from Southwest Florida will be competing at Alico Arena on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University. The event is sanctioned by the Edison Festival of Light, as well as an affiliate of both the State Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) of Florida and Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF).

Finalists of the Kiwanis Science Fair have maintained a strong presence at State and International competitions. The fairs provide a strong Community presence as represented by the hundreds of judges and volunteers participating. Many organizations and community groups are directly involved in planning, organizing and conducting the fairs. Winners of the Science and of the Inventors Fair will ride as honored guests in the Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade on February 17, 2018.

Over the past six decades, the Thomas A. Edison Regional Science and Inventors Fair program has grown into the largest pre-collegiate STEM competition program in Southwest Florida. Annually, these regional STEM fairs engage nearly 20,000 students in research projects at a school level. Student participants compete for over 30 college scholarships and thousands of dollars worth in prizes, including scores of Sony Electronic products and special awards at local and regional events. At state and international levels of competition millions of dollars in scholarships are available.

Monday, January 22, 2018, the Edison Festival of Light Regional Inventors Awards Ceremony, will be at Edison Park Creative and Expressive Arts School (2401 Euclid Ave. Fort Myers, 33901). The event begins at 7PM and is open to the public. Edison Park Elementary originally opened in 1927. It was one of the first auditoriums in Lee County, where Thomas Edison himself attended community programs. Several college scholarships, special prizes and Sony products valued at several thousand dollars will be awarded to scores of K-12 students from across Southwest Florida who competed successfully in the Regional Inventors Fair of January 20th.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018, the Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis Science and Engineering Fair Award Ceremony at Alico Arena, will be held on the FGCU campus beginning at 7PM. Dozens of winners in their science categories from the January 20th Kiwanis Science and Engineering Fair will be recognized at the ceremony. Over 30 college scholarships will be granted, with scores of Special Awards bestowed. These Awards are from individuals, organizations and agencies using special criteria set by the donors. Sony personal electronic products, certificates of merit, memberships, tickets to events, trophies and other prizes will be given out during the program.

Over 125 students will be recognized with hundreds of family members in attendance. Winners of both Senior High Division and Junior High Division participants in 13 distinct science categories from Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis Science and Engineering Fair are to be announced. FGCU will once again award over 20 middle school students who competed successfully at the Kiwanis Science Fair a two-week paid summer school at the Whitaker Center for STEM Education, where they will gain hands-on experience in real research programs. The evening will conclude with the announcement of the Best of Fair Awards in the Senior High School and Junior High School Divisions.

Irma threw her best punches in Southwest Florida, but the K-12 education community responded heroically. The proof of this can be found at this event where standards for quality project work are being maintained and where hundreds of volunteers insure students benefit by participating in rigorous science and invention work. Come see what recovery from a hurricane looks like at its best.

Useful information regarding the Fairs is available at the website (edisonfairs.org) and breaking news on the Fairs can be found on Twitter: @EdisonFairs.

The Thomas A. Edison Regional Science and Inventor Fair (TAERSIF) Steering Committee works year-round to organize and conduct the Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis Science and Engineering Fair, the Suncoast Credit Union Elementary Science Expo and the Thomas A. Edison Festival of Light Regional Inventors Fair that host in total more than 1100 local students. Key partners of TAERSIF include the Fort Myers Kiwanis, Lee County and Charlotte County Public Schools, numerous private and parochial schools, Florida Gulf Coast University, the Edison Festival of Light, Florida Southwestern State College, Hodges University, the James and Eleanor Newton Scholarships, Sony Electronics, Imagine Solutions Conference, Daitch Family Foundation, Caloosa Bromeliad Society, The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, The IMAG History and Science Center, the Fort Myers Miracle baseball team, Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Pure Florida, Caloosa Veterinary Medical Society, Florida Power and Light, Doug MacGregor. The Edison Pageant of Light, the Entrepreneurs Society of Naples, the Scientist Society of Southwest Florida, Lee Memorial Health Systems, the Lee County Medical Society and numerous private donors and volunteers.

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