Monday, March 17, 2008

Piedmont Regional Science Fair

From a post a friend sent to our local homeschool list:

Dreams Do Come TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!

Last evening [March 6th, I believe this was] at a dazzling awards ceremony at UVA...the event: the Piedmont Regional Science Fair......we were in a state of total shock two times...

First time...we heard our son, Athman had won First Place in Microbiology and was advancing to the the International Middle School Science Fair to be held in Washington D.C.

The next time, we screamed, we cried....when we heard the Fair Director announce that one of the two Grand Prize Award Winners in the High School Division goes to our daughter, Tara. Tara heads to International Science and Engineering Fair in Atlanta, later this year.

I report this not to brag, but more to share the journey....which in all honesty has been filled with doubts, and occasional spots of hope.

Both our kids are wild about wildlife. When I say they live to "save the earth," its not any exaggeration. A few months ago, both were honored to meet Jane Goodall, the world renowned Primatologist. When Goodall said "Do Not Give Up Your Dreams...," I think there were at least two kids who absorbed the message deeply.

Like most homeschooling families, we dabble in a fair amount of activities....but we have seen both the kids are wired in their hearts and brains...a deep commitment to science. Tara has dreamt about going to Internationals, winning in the Animal Sciences Category. Great dream, but the path has been more thorny than rosy! The last few months she has spent 5-6 hours/day in the lab. Her project focuses on a solution to the extinction of amphibians world-wide. Amphibians are dying due to a deadly fungus. Tara proposes a solution on exposing amphibians to probiotic bacteria. In scientific circles, it has been received well. Lot more work to be done before the work gets published.

When we started homeschooling many years ago, (both kids have been homeschooled all along), I was very inspired by this book "Better than School" - Nancy Wallace. Over the years, there have been many more books about homeschoolers reaching for the stars!

There are many reasons to homeschool - one among them is to have the freedom to pursue excellence. Outside credentials are not necessary, but sure does feel good. We have met many families on this list who have nurtured their kids to pursue their passions - soccer, equestrian sports, art, music etc. etc. We thank you for serving as an inspiration to the community.

- Mamtha

This is such great news! Congratulations to both Tara and Athman!

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