Long before the current initiatives to introduce students to science and technology, there was the West Contra Costa Science Fair, a districtwide competition that puts the creative talents of young middle and high school minds to the test by panels of judges.
The 55th annual fair takes place Feb. 25 to 28 and will have more than 170 inventive projects by entrants in grades seven to 12 on display at Contra Costa College, 2640 Mission Bell Drive in San Pablo.
Participating campuses this year are Crespi, DeJean, Helms, Pinole, and Portola middle schools; Mira Vista and Stewart K-8 schools; and El Cerrito and Pinole Valley high schools.
Project categories are Behavioral, Biological, Math/Computer and Physical Sciences and it's always impressive to see the ideas students come up with.
The displays will open to the viewing by the public from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 26 in Room GA-40 on the second floor of the Gym Annex and the entries will be judged on Feb. 27.
Evaluations from will be by some 60 judges from corporations and institutions such as the Alameda County Superior Court, Bio-Rad, Cal State East Bay, Chevron, UC Berkeley Chemical Engineering and Chemistry Departments, UC Extension and the USDA Western Regional Research Lab.
Also open to the public is the awards ceremony at 7:15 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Knox Performing Arts Center at the corner of Castro Street and El Portal Drive on the CCC campus.
For more details contact Melody Hanson at 510-235-7800, ext. 4206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION AWARDS: Nominations are now open for the annual Historic Preservation Awards in Richmond.
The honors, which were revived several years ago and have grown in popularity as the community celebrates its heritage, recognize "outstanding commitment to excellence in historic preservation, local history or promotion of the heritage of the city."
That means the awards include but aren't confined to the concept of restored buildings.
"In addition to public and private buildings and structures, historic preservation projects may include media, publications, presentations and exhibits, parks, burial grounds, public art, oral history, theater productions, events and video presentations," the nomination form notes.
The deadline for this year's nominations is March 29 and the awards ceremony will be in May (which is Historic Preservation Month) at City Hall.
Nomination forms are available at www.ci.richmond.ca.us/preservationawards.
Forms can also be picked up from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at the Planning and Building Services Department information counter on the second floor at 450 Civic Center Plaza.
WEST COUNTY NOTES: Members of the El Cerrito Art Association have long had works on display at the Community Center, the El Cerrito Library and the local DMV office.
The group has now branched out to Berkeley, where eight members have works on display at Payn's Stationery Store, 1791 Solano Ave.
The paintings of models in Victorian dress, on display through March 12, are by Ikuko Boyland, Charlotte Britton, Linnea Gershenberg, June Hunt, Barbara Rockhold, Jean Sichterman, Jean Witzke and Meg Stockwell.
The participating artists are members of the association's weekly plein-air painters group and took part in two days at gardens in the South Bay where there subjects were "models dressed in authentic Victorian costumes posed in and around historic homes."
Learn more about the association at elcerritoart.org.