Bulletin, Institute

CLSA Biotechnology Educator of the Year Seeks Volunteers to Judge STEM Fairs

Elizabeth Schar, winner of the 2016 Pantheon Biotechnology Educator of the Year Award, is seeking industry volunteers to help judge STEM science fairs in the Ravenswood City School District in East Palo Alto. “Here is your chance to meet young people who are trying out science and engineering, and looking for feedback,” said Schar, hoping to capitalize on the generous response to her award at Pantheon.  “Working with these young kids who are getting excited about STEM really gives you hope for the world.”

Over 1000 students, grades 5-8, are participating in this fourth annual District STEM fair, generating more than 600 projects.  Judging will take place over several days, between Jan 25 and Feb 8, at a variety of times and locations.  Each student will be interviewed about their work, a key step in the experience.  Click here for more information and to sign up.

This is Ravenswood’s Fourth Annual STEM Fair.   Thirty projects will advance to the County level. “Eight years ago, when we started the Ravenswood Science Initiative, there was no science fair, no students were thinking about the Scientific Method,” notes Schar. “Now we have 1000 students working on STEM fair projects. I get a big smile just thinking about that.”

Unlike other school districts, the Ravenswood STEM fair is organized by the science teachers and district staff.   There is no helpful band of knowledgeable parents behind the scenes with resources and experience to share. The expertise of a professional scientist or engineer usually comes from volunteers.

The San Mateo County STEM Fair, which takes place from March 5-9 at Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, also needs judges. Dr. Brennan Brockbank, RCSD science coordinator, reports that Ravenswood is now one of the largest participants at the county level, providing desirable diversity and increasing the need for judges. Click here  to register as a judge for the San Mateo County STEM Fair.

For more information about the Ravenswood Science Initiative, click here  or go to   Questions?   Contact Elizabeth Schar, Ravenswood Science Initiative: cell- 650 862 4604; Email –

Lisbeth and Jennifer at the CLSA Pantheon Award Banquet December 2. Now sixth graders at Cesar Chavez Academy in East Palo Alto, their 5TH grade STEM fair project won the 5th Grade Engineering Category at the 2016 San Mateo County STEM Fair in San Carlos. This year they want to build an X-ray machine.