Biola Hosts ACSI Science Fair

High school students integrate Biblical truths into science projects

Apr. 22, 2009 By Jenna Bartlo

Three hundred thirty-seven junior and senior high school students attended the Southern California Association of Christian School’s International (ACSI) science fair, held at Biola University on Friday, April 3, 2009.

The ACSI science fair has been held annually for more than 30 years. The Southern California branch of the event came to Biola in 1988. The primary goal of the fair is to integrate Christian faith with logical scientific knowledge.

“The ACSI Science Fair is a venue that encourages Christian students to develop and apply creativity, skill and logical thinking to the solutions of science, engineering and mathematical problems,” said Walt Stangl, Biola’s dean of sciences. “The ACSI science fair is unique from other science fairs in that students are also challenged to identify and integrate Biblical truth in their projects.”

Biola students and faculty from the physical science, biological science, nursing, anthropology, kinesiology, and communication disorders departments were involved with hosting the event as well as judging the projects.

Biola education alum, Amy Hall (’07), a junior high science teacher at Calvary Christian school in Orange County, CA, recalls the event.

“Bringing several of my Calvary Christian middle school students to the fair, we spent the afternoon touring campus, eating at Eagles and of course presenting projects to various judges,” said Hall.

Biola professors served the students through demonstrations, speeches and answering questions. Hall’s favorite part of the event was the award presentation in Sutherland Auditorium.

“The capstone came when all of the participants from various California cities filed into Sutherland Auditorium where the awards were presented. My students (and their parents) screamed like girls when one of my 8th grade boys sauntered up to the stage to claim his 3rd place prize,” Hall said.

For years, the science fair has encouraged students to pursue higher education. A high school science teacher shared one student’s story at this year’s event.

“Five years ago I brought a student to the science fair, a junior high boy. As we brought his project to registration on the east side of the gym, he saw the soccer field and Biola students running the track. That glimpse gave him a life goal. He's now a senior and is working on a track scholarship to college. His mother told me that the trip to Biola for the Science Fair gave her son a focus he had not had before,” said the teacher, according to Stangl.

ACSI Southern California serves 500 of the organizations’ 5,000 member schools. Of these schools, 44 attended this year, drawing junior and senior high school students and their projects. Tours of the campus were also held for prospective students attending the event.

Written by Nick Curmi, Media Relations Intern

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