Yesterday I had the opportunity to judge the local science fair again. Not only do I get to meet other area professionals, but we get to mingle with the kids and read the posters. The kids are all neatly dressed, and polite, and silly when they think the judges are not looking. They range from the sublime to the truly amazing. The best title yesterday was "Fun with Helium" which I think was a middle school kid who worked with helium balloons from the party store. The winner of our group was a kid (10th grader) whose mother got him access to a group of tissue samples with 15 years of metadata, a microtome, some stains for biomarkers, and he turned out a very sophisticated study of markers for prediction of how aggressive ductal carcinomas would be. I shudder to think of the liability situation for putting a 15 year old in front of a microtome, but there you go.
As you might imagine, silicon valley parenting makes for a very high quality science fair. Our winners feed into the Intel Science Fair, and those kids get impressive scholarships.
And I got a tee-shirt!