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Gwinnett County science fair expands

LAWRENCEVILLE — The Gwinnett County science community will come together for a day of learning as students and professionals participate in the 2011 Gwinnett County Regional Science and Engineering Fair.

For the first time in its 33-year history, the district science fair will include elementary students, who will exhibit projects in a non-competitive format. In addition, the middle school level will hold its competition on the same day as the high schoolers, while the Gwinnett County Public Schools event also expands to include participants from area colleges. Notre Dame Academy, a private school located in Gwinnett County, also is scheduled to participate in the districtwide event.

The event will take place today in the Student Center at Georgia Gwinnett College, located at 1000 University Center Lane in Lawrenceville. Community members are welcome to visit after 3:30 p.m. The awards ceremony is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

If You Go

• What: Gwinnett County Regional Science and Engineering Fair

• When: Open house begins at 3:30 p.m. today; awards ceremony begins at 7 p.m.

• Where: Student Center, Georgia Gwinnett College, 1000 University Lane, Lawrenceville

This year’s competition features the work of 633 GCPS students who will represent their 423 research-based projects in the fields of animal science, biochemistry, computer science, engineering, microbiology and physics.

These projects already have earned first place at their local school science fairs to advance to the districtwide event. At the Gwinnett fair, the projects will be judged by Georgia professionals and scientists based on scientific quality, accuracy, creativity and experimental design.

High school and middle school students who earn first place at the district level competition will move to the next round, the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair, which will be held in Athens in the spring. Top projects then qualify for competition in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, which will be held May 8 to 13 in Los Angeles.