Born from an IGC IGEP Capstone Project, the second annual "Flip the Fair" event recently united graduate students at the Melrose Branch Library in Roanoke. Their mission? To present their research to an eager audience of elementary school students, who turned the traditional Science Fair style on its head by critiquing the researchers' poster board presentations.

Around 200 inquisitive 5th-grade student judges from Fairview Elementary, Hurt Park Elementary, and Roanoke Academy for Math and Science participated in the judging process, voicing their thoughts in several categories. The competition was fierce, with presentations that made the elementary student judges' task a challenge.

With judging categories spanning from "Curious Questioner" to "Radical Results," several IGC IGEP Fellows claimed poster awards. Emma Bueren, Biological Sciences, secured the 3rd place award in the "Master of Methods" category for her presentation, "Friendly Phage in Frogs: Are All Viruses Bad?" Meanwhile, Prashasti Agarwal from the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences claimed the 3rd place prize in the "Prettiest Poster" category with her work titled "Rooting for the Micro-Guys."

Students with awards
Emma Bueren (far left) poses with other award winners at Flip the Fair.
Students with Awards
Among the award recipients, Prashasti Agarwal (far left) shows off her award mug.

This event's success is a testament to the hard work and dedication of IGC IGEP Fellow Amanda Hensley in the Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health Program. Supported by Gates Palissery and Megan Evans, Amanda's commitment to making science more accesible to young minds highlights the role of science in society and emphasizes how our fellows can make a positive impact.

We eagerly anticipate the continued success of this initiative and congratulate Amanda Hensley and the other graduate students that made this event a success!  Their efforts in promoting STEM education are helping to inspire young minds from all walks of life to envision themselves as scientists one day.

VT New Video still
A science fair with a twist! Watch the VT News Video about the second annual Flip the Fair that brought graduate students to the Melrose Branch Library in Roanoke to present their research to elementary schoolers, who then critiqued the researchers' poster board presentations.