For over twenty years Meghan's Dad has been on the board for the Flint Regional Science Fair. A few years ago, we both started assisting with the judging efforts. Evaluate the projects Friday night to determine the finalists and then interview participants the next morning. The first couple of years this was a fairly simple process: we show up, get handed a sheet of 10 - 15 projects to look at in the Junior level (middle school students) and evaluate them. These projects ranged from topics such as "Which Disinfectant Works Best" to "Which Bridge Design Hold the Most Weight." Pretty creative projects, but none were too mentally-taxing to evaluate.
And then there was this year. This year, we were both "promoted" to the Senior level (high school students). Still, these are high school students and it's easy enough to think that since we both have college degrees and engineering jobs - we got this. Wrong. So wrong. These are some seriously impressive students. Some of these projects, I could understand and objectively evaluate. Others were so far over my head that by the end of the night my brain was firmly in the "too much science" information overload zone. Actually, it was probably closer to throwing itself off of a cliff zone in response to the things I made it try to analyze...on a Friday night...after an already long week of work. Just to give you an idea, the winner of the 2014 Science Fair was "A Novel In-Clinic Patient and Cancer-Tailored Targeted Drug Delivery System." Feeling inadequate yet?