The Tar Creek Science Exhibit is not merely a competition; it is also an opportunity for students to cultivate their personal interests and talents. Students will conduct their own project and will receive feedback and recognition from environmental health experts of the Harvard School of Public Health. This is a chance for students to explore ideas and topics that they find exciting. Dr. Robert O. Wright is the principal investigator for the MATCH Project investigating the effects of multiple metal exposures on children. He attended the first Tar Creek Conference thirteen years ago as a speaker and is returning as one this year. "My goal for the student science exhibition is to encourage students to become excited and inquisitive about the science around them."

All accepted entrants will display their projects at the 13th National Tar Creek Conference at the Miami Civic Center on September 22, 2011. The conference pulls together local community members as well as visiting environmental health scientists and policy advocates to tackle challenging issues related to the Tar Creek Superfund site - the 40 square mile area in Ottawa county where hazardous mine wastes affect about 30,000 local citizens. Projects in any science discipline may be entered but projects in environmental health are especially encouraged.

All projects must the student's original work and will be judged on originality, science content, and presentation. All entrants should be prepared to explain their work to the judges.

Both Science Projects and Language Arts Projects will be considered.

Science projects may describe the nature of a phenomenon, analyze the relationship between two things, or actively test a hypothesis with an experiment. Some techniques include survey, case study, experiment, observation, and analysis of existing data. All science projects must display the following sections: Introduction, Hypothesis, Methods, Results, Discussion and Conclusion.

Language arts projects may tell a story related to a relevant scientific phenomenon or issue; they may aim to raise awareness about a health or environmental problem; or they may analyze a local problem and suggest a solution. Some techniques include creative writing, photography, video, digital stories, screenplay, poetry, interview, journalism, and short film.

LEAD Agency the sponsor of the Tar Creek Conference has some tri-fold and single poster boards available for student use. If you have further questions or would like to request one, please contact Rebecca Jim at rjim@neok.com or call 918-542-9399. "We encourage students to enter and for the public to come appreciate their efforts," Rebecca Jim stated.