Richmond STEM Fair 2023

Yes, the STEM Fair has been revived. After three years of COVID shutdowns, VCU’s School of Education Center for Innovation in STEM Education has stepped up and hosted the temprarily dead event. We mourned the loss, as RAS took part in the judgin and presented cash awards to project that utilized astronomy and space science.

Unfortunately for us, none of the exhibits qualified for our award. There were about 150 altogether, and even though there were categories in Earth Science and Physics, none of the students had projects that caught our eye. That’s not to say there weren’t some fantastic projects. As one of the Math judges, the one my judging team selected caused me to do some research myself the night before, in order to “bone up.” Even though I’m a mathematics majore, my last classes were over 50 years ago-long before there was such a thing as a home computer, Google, or quantum mechanics. But, my interest is strong, and Google came through.

The title of this exhibit is: Optimizing Quantum Annealing to Advance Graph Coloring Algorithms. I won’t bore you with the details, as it didn’t involve astronomy, but you can take my word for it that this young lady knew her stuff, and amazed us with her knowledge.

Anyway, the Fair is back, and RAS is hoping for some astronomy projects next year.