Home Grown: VGTI Florida Encouraging Budding Scientists In Martin County

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Scientists at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute Florida (VGTI) want to encourage the next generation of scientists, starting with students on the Treasure Coast. They have donated $3,500 to the Education Foundation of Martin County as a sponsor of the upcoming Regional Science Fair to be held February 10 through 12, 2012 at the Treasure Coast Square mall, 3174 N.W. Federal Hwy., Jensen Beach, FL 34957.

"The scientific leadership at VGTI Florida is committed to supporting educational events such as local and regional science fairs," says John D. Schatzle, Ph.D.,  Director of Scientific Affairs. "These events offer the student an opportunity to pursue scientific exploration and experimentation of their own design rather than replication of textbook approved experiments. This fostering of creative activity is crucial in getting young people interested in science" he adds.

VGTI Florida scientists Mark Cameron, Zhong He and Yu Shi will be among the judges who will be reviewing the projects.

Elementary students may choose from biological, earth/space, environmental, health and medicine, physical, and product testing categories to pose their question, frame their hypotheses, develop their test parameters, and draw their conclusions. Middle and high school science categories include behavioral, biochemistry, botany, chemistry, computer, earth/space, engineering, environmental, health/medicine, math, microbiology, physics, and zoology. Ultimately, 10 projects selected from the top winners at the Regional Science Fair from the middle and high school levels will be chosen to compete at the State Fair in April. Two projects will be awarded bids to compete at the 2012 INTEL International Science & Engineering Fair in May.

The Education Foundation of Martin County (EFMC) is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), community investment organization comprised of business leaders, community volunteers, and school officials with the common goal of enriching and enhancing the quality of education for students and educators in Martin County's public schools.  For more information, visit www.educationfoundationmc.org.

For more information, contact Lisa Rhodes, Executive Director, Education Foundation of Martin County at (772) 600-8062, or by e-mail at LRhodes@EducationFoundationMC.org.

About VGTI Florida
VGTI Florida is a leading immunological research institute that is on an urgent mission to transform scientific discoveries into novel treatments and cures for infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, and illnesses that disproportionately affect our aging population. VGTI Florida is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization located in the Tradition Center of Innovation in Port St. Lucie, Florida. For more information, visit www.VGTIFL.org.