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 Local Schools Win Top Honor to Exhibit at San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering

​​​The San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering announces the winners of the Bright Ideas Society award. Sponsored by the Kimmich Educational Foundation at the San Diego Foundation, the award is presented to one outstanding science and engineering club at the elementary, middle and high school level for their illuminating science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) ideas. Under the direction of their advisor, the students will produce an interactive exhibit to share their findings with more than 25,000 EXPO DAY attendees.  

The 2014 winners are:

  • Elementary School: Washington Elementary, San Diego Unified School District. Who knew owl "poop" could teach kids about science! Students from Washington Elementary will use the scientific method to help EXPO guests understand the diet, habitat and ecosystem of barn owls. Kids and parents will have the opportunity to dissect and analyze owl pellets. They'll also compare and contrast the skeleton of the barn owl to those of rodents, shrews, moles and other birds, expanding their learning at a higher level.
  • Middle School: Julian Charter School, San Diego Academy, Julian Union School District. EXPO participants will enter an interactive art installation depicting the world of plants as they explore the Julian Charter School's art and science exhibit. Attendees will enter the cell of a plant, as they take on the characteristics of an energy carrying photon. With the use of paper, scissors, tape, and even peas…students from the school will work with kids and parents to teach them how art can be used to explain and enhance scientific knowledge.
  • High School: Castle Park High School, Sweetwater Union High School District. Have you heard of Oncofertility?  Do you know anything about it? You will after visiting the Castle Park High School EXPO booth. Oncofertility research is one of the most rapidly-growing areas of research and has ariseon from the need to preserve fertility in patients who have cancer and will have to undergo cancer treatment therapy. Visitors will become temporary pathologists as they study normal tissue and cancerous cells as well as analyze DNA. They'll also gain a greater understanding of methods being used to aid fertility efforts. 

The clubs will present their innovative ideas to thousands of children and adults during the Festival's EXPO Day at PETCO Park on Saturday, March 22, 2014. Additionally, the students will receive a proclamation from San Diego City Councilmember Sherri Lightner, who serves on the Festival steering committee. The proclamation will be presented at 2 p.m. on March 11, 2014 in council chambers.

"We are fortunate to have a number of K-12 schools in San Diego County involved in STEM education, which means a brighter future for all of us," says Sara Pagano, managing director, San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering. "The selection of the winners was a very competitive process. Applications were initially reviewed by our education committee and then the top entries were sent to the Kimmich Educational Foundation whose members further reviewed the applications and selected the top three."  ​

A program of the Biocom Institute, the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering presented by Illumina, aims to encourage and get kids excited about science and related fields so they might one day aspire to be tomorrow's STEM innovators. More than 55,000 kids, parents, scientists, educators and community members are expected to participate in the week-long event and EXPO Day. Several features and events are scheduled, designed to shine the light on how STEM makes an impact in our everyday lives:

  • Festival Week: March 15-21, 2014. Hundreds of community businesses and organizations throughout San Diego County will present a week of science, technology, engineering and math activities for kids in kindergarten through 12th grade, but everyone is welcome. Visit for a complete list of Festival Week activities around San Diego County. Many of the events are free to the public.
  • Nifty 50 Speaker Series: The Nifty 50 presenters are innovative science and engineer professionals drawn from industry, local research organizations and universities. They are partnered with teachers and students from regional schools studying STEM topics that match the area of their expertise.
  • EXPO DAY: Saturday, March 22, 2014 at PETCO Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is a mind-blowing day of hands-on science, technology, engineering and math exhibits and activities to budding K-12 science lovers, but everyone is welcome. This event is free and open to the public. More than 25,000 people are expected to attend. EXPO Day is free of charge and open to the public. 

Sponsors for the 2014 San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering presented by Illumina include Gold Sponsors: ABC Channel 10, Azteca San Diego 15, Biocom, Biocom Institute, Magic 92.5, San Diego Padres, U-T San Diego, ViaSat, and Jammin' Z90; Silver Sponsor: Cox, KyXy 96.5, Life Technologies, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego County Office of Education, Time Warner Cable and UC San Diego; Copper Sponsors: The California Endowment, Cubic, Cymer, Mother's Cookies, Sapphire Energy, Scatena Daniels Communications, UTC Aerospace Systems, and Vertex; Krypton Sponsor:  American Elements, EMD Millipore, Pfizer, and Sequenom  Laboratories; Titanium Sponsor:  BP Biofuels, Capistrano Connections Academy, D & K Engineering, General Atomics, Legoland California, National Defense Industrial Association, Northrop Grumman, Point Loma Nazarene University, Raytheon and the San Diego Center for Systems Biology.


About the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering

The mission of the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering is to engage kids in science and engineering. By doing this, the organization expands the general public's understanding of the relevancy of science and engineering in everyday lives, illuminate why the United States must maintain its leadership role in science and technology, and work with parents and teachers to inspire today's students to become tomorrow's science, technology, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) innovators. For more information, visit or call 858-455-0300 ext. 131.