Middle, high school students invited to Pellissippi State Young Inventors Fair

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By the age of 6, Thomas Edison had managed to burn down the family barn. Luckily, his later experiments with electricity worked out better than his experiments with fire.

Parents with young inventors in the household have a chance to encourage their innovative spirits by bringing them to Pellissippi State Community College’s Young Inventors Fair.

The event, hosted by Pellissippi State’s student Science Club, is free for all middle and high school students. The fair takes place Saturday, March 3, 1-4 p.m.

Students may bring science fair projects or other personal projects to display in the Goins Building College Center at the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

“If your student has already participated in a science fair at school but didn’t score high enough to be sent on to the Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Fair, here’s a second chance,” said Jerry Burns, chemistry professor and Science Club sponsor.

“We will give the students pointers on improving their inventions. We will send four students on to the SASEF, and will give certificate awards to the top three inventors.”

The event is in conjunction with the college’s 2011-12 Common Book activities. Those activities revolve around “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope,” by William Kamkwamba. The author of the New York Times bestseller was the keynote speaker at the President’s Convocation Sept. 1. He spoke about his experiences building a 16-foot-tall windmill nine years ago in Malawi.

It was the Common Book that inspired this event, said 23-year-old student Lee Beckner, president of the Science Club:

“When I read what William Kamkwamba could do without any support, I wanted to know what the children in the area could do with support. We hope that this will become a yearly event.”

For more information, call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.