Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Clay Students Trek to Intel Science Fair; Young Inventors Showcase Ideas

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Clay Students Trek to Intel Science Fair; Young Inventors Showcase Ideas

Article excerpt

Byline: Beth Reese Cravey, Clay County Line staff writer

They mingled with high school students from across the globe, all gifted in science, sharing stories and theories, soaking up new ideas.

They got inspired by fellow students who already have inventions patented in their names, with promising careers ahead of them, and learned from people in the business who forged a path ahead of them.

They got to visit academic halls of knowledge -- libraries and museums -- and cultural icons such as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Hard Rock Cafe.

And then there was Lake Erie, which looked more like an ocean.

For three Clay County ninth-graders, attending the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Cleveland earlier this month was an experience to be savored.

"It really was fun. I enjoyed it," said Paul Derousie of Orange Park High School. "I liked to talk to people from other countries, of different backgrounds. . . . It really did inspire me because all of these people had really good projects."

The Intel Fair is the world's largest pre-college science competition that provides an opportunity for the world's best young scientists and inventors to share ideas, showcase cutting-edge science projects and compete for more than $3 million in awards and scholarships.

Every year, more than 1 million students in grades 9 through 12 compete in regional science fairs and nearly 500 Intel-affiliated fairs held around the world. More than 1,200 students from more than 40 countries win the chance to compete at the international event for scholarships and prizes in 14 scientific categories and a team project category.

Paul, Jonathon Stanley of Clay and Michael Kerekes of Ridgeview were selected to represent Clay at the Intel event after participating in individual school fairs, the 2003 Kiwanis Clay Science and Engineering Fair and the state science fair. Paul's project was in microbiology, Jonathon's in behavioral science and Michael's in zoology.

The three teenagers had no illusions of bringing home awards or scholarships -- those went to the more experienced participants -- but the event gave them goals to shoot for, Paul said. …

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