BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Nearly 800 students from schools across the coast made their way to Biloxi Wednesday for this year's regional Science and Engineering Fair at the Mississippi Coast Convention Center.
"I'm kind of nervous because I see all these really cool looking projects," said ninth-grader Jeremiah Jackson while standing next to his project.
The range of projects varied from agriculture to cosmetics, to robotics. A lot to see, and a lot to learn.
"I just think it's fun to see what other people have been experimenting on because everyone's so passionate about their topic," said senior Chloe Rizk.
Hundreds of projects required the help of volunteer judges. Lt. Michael Davis from Keesler Air Force Base was blown away by what he was seeing. He said this fair was a big change from when he was in school.
"We were just learning about Microsoft Paint and Word and it was kind of new, but now these kids are actually growing up with computers and it's actually pretty crazy what they can do with this technology," said Davis.
Kay Jamison, a volunteer judge from Ingalls, agreed. "It's unbelievable what they're thinking about. Technology and art combining. You don't really see that thought process that much."
Many of these students saw the science fair as a chance to start making a difference. "It's mostly just saying that anyone can do anything to help by doing a simple act," said fifth-grader, Madeline Stephens.
Second-grader Jacob Strickland used his project to work on ways to improve structural stability in earthquakes. "My conclusion was right. The taller the building, the easier it could fall. The shorter the building, the more stable it is," he said.
Others were exploring career opportunities. "It helps them in their future for maybe what job they want to do. I want to be a doctor, so this could maybe help," said fifth-grader Connor Wise.
This regional competition included students from the six coastal counties. The next step is the state level at Jackson State in April.