More than a thousand students with special needs from at least twenty local schools are expected to participate in a science fair in partnership with the Palm Beach County School District, to be held at the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society’s Peggy S. Brown Pavilion. The event occurs on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, and Wednesday, April 9, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a 1:30 p.m. medal ceremony in which every single student will receive a medal. Members of the media are invited to cover the science fair.
Linda Laverty, founder of event, said the fair is a chance for children with significant disabilities to participate in scientific inquiry and discovery. “It’s the chance for them to be involved in a legitimate science fair project and display,” Laverty said. “The students are so excited to be a part of something their peers are involved in, and the project is interactive for them.”
“These students don’t get to participate in typical science fairs because of their disabilities,” she continued. “But this is a class project that’s a team effort, so it gives them self-esteem and a sense of participation. This helps them feel special, but not different.”
The students follow the guidelines set by the National Science Foundation. They set a hypothesis, collect data, prove or disprove the hypothesis and display their results in a final science fair project on a display board.