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Lakeside Science Fair Association Progress
Submitted by Charlie Smith
For the first time the Centro de Estudios Tecnologicos en Aguas Continentales (CETAC), a high school in Jocotopec specializing in water related technology, had a science project accepted at the Guadalajara Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), in September. ISEF is a prestigious international science fair covering over sixty countries and with demanding entry criteria. That CETAC managed to get in, with only two months available to qualify, is a tribute to the students, the teachers, and to a small extent the expatriates who comprise the Lakeside Science Fair Association. The project is a design and prototype for filtering and oxygenating the water in the Jocotepec malecon area. The team shown in the accompanying picture designed a clever, simple wind-driven pumping and filtration system, ideally suited to the windy west end of Lake Chapala. And with this success under their belts, CETAC is looking forward to competing even more successfully, with more entries and even maybe a few prizes, in October 2012. With this as an example, the Science Fair Association is hoping to involve more Lakeside high schools in the ISEF competition.
The goal of the Science Fair Association is to get more bright students interested in careers in science and engineering. This not only benefits the students but also the economy of Mexico. Participating in science fairs is one thrust, as is taking students on tours of engineering facilities such as the Intel research facility in Guadalajara, and having them work with mentors who can expose them to scientific methods. The Association also plans to help improve the science labs at the high schools, and possibly to augment the computer science curricula.
The next big event will be a science fair at Lakeside in January, with the best projects being selected and groomed for the 2012 ISEF.