Ventura County Science Fair winner

Senior Eric Smith showcasing his science fair project.

Hamzah Khan

Senior Eric Smith showcasing his science fair project.

The Ventura County Science Fair is an annual event taking place every year. There are multiple science fairs that take place during the year where people from different schools come together to show off their different projects with one another. One in particular that recently happened on March 24 was the Ventura County Science Fair. It’s designed to help promote, encourage, reward achievements of students, while helping build skills in science, math, technology, and engineering. This was established back in 1955, and since then, multiple participants have taken place in this fair to show off their different projects/inventions they thought of and created.

One of the participants of this science fair, senior Eric Smith, won third place for his project. He has attended multiple science fairs throughout his time, and always loves to be a part of them as well as see what other people make. Smith always loved to be a part of the fairs since he was a kid, participating in fairs from elementary school all the way to high school. Some of his older projects include testing water samples and creating a purifier. His recent project for this year’s science fair was a haptic-controlled robotic arm. Some of Smith’s past projects were so good that he was able to attend a state science fair, where other people who are able to attend would show off their projects to each other and see what each of them did.

When it comes to coming up with the ideas with his projects, Smith has always come up with original ideas, he has gotten help here and there when it comes to making it, but through the imagination, that’s all on his own. For his newest project, it is something that he has always wanted to make, but got the idea to make it for the science fair from a scene in the movie, Avatar. How it works is that he uses a glove which is connected to a tube with a bunch of wires in it and hooks it up to the machine through a box, making it so that the glove can move the arm. Making the arm had some challenges to it, like having to program the one he uses, so it could move the robotic one. But, eventually Smith was successful, and was able to make everything work out and get it working for the science fair.

If you’re interested in taking part in a science fair, then Smith has recommended talking to teacher Ms. Zina Goldman, “I didn’t know how to get into the Science Fair here and I was a part of the science club run by Ms. Goldman, and she recommended that I participate in it.” If you are nervous about entering, Smith shared some advice about why, if you are interested, that you should consider participating. “Just do it, even if you’re nervous about how good your project is and what place you get, just go for it, because even if you lose, you still had a fun experience, had a great time, and got to meet a lot of great people.” With this valuable insight from Smith, we understand the overall science fair journey of participants, which included a great deal of learning, hard work, and a fun time.