Our Mission Statement
The mission of the Quinte Regional Science and Technology fair is to encourage, foster enthusiasm, develop self-confidence, inspire and support an interest in science, technology and engineering for the youth in our area and to provide our students with the opportunity and skills to foster a lifelong love of science.
The Quinte Regional Science and Technology Fair began in Belleville in 1960 at Moira Secondary school and the following year in 1961 the Rotary Club began its sponsorship. In 1965 a hobby show was added held at the Belleville Armouries when the fair moved there for the extra space. Several years ago, the Quinte Regional Science and Technology Fair move to Loyalist College. Loyalist College provides an excellent site to display and support the science students in our area who wish to present their scientific results to the public and the judges. Top entries were selected to participate in the Canada-wide Science Fair. The Quinte Regional Science Fair began sending students to the Canada-wide Science Fair in 1962, Over the years many entries from our science fair have won national recognition.
History of the Rotary Club 1920-1989 Chapter 8- Science Fair and Hobby Show
In January 1960, the club was approached by Mr. Glenn Shaver, a science teacher at the Belleville Collegiate Institute regarding possible club sponsorship of a local science fair. Shaver convinced the science teachers at the Belleville schools that there was a need for a fair, and that the incentive provided to potential scientists, through showing their work to the public, would develop and encourage them.
A committee was formed through the efforts of the science teachers from Belleville Collegiate, Quinte Secondary, and Moria Secondary Schools; Consisting of Mr. R. Ellis, chairman; Mr. Glenn Shaver, secretary-treasurer; and Mr. R. Phillips, Dr. Barlow, and Mr. F. Beeby. Shaver requested the club to provide money for prizes for the local fair, and expenses to the Science Fair in Toronto. [It is interesting to note that the minutes of the directors’ meeting for Jan. 4, 1960, still extant, record that “Past President Jack Yanover recalled that this proposition had been turned down last year on account of the cost.”] It was passed, in February, that the club underwrite the expenses to the extent of $50 per year.
Entries were requested from all secondary schools from Cobourg to Napanee; Picton to Tweed. Sixty-four entries were received, and displays were set up in Moira Secondary School, under the supervision of Mr. Phillips. They drew wide interest and were so well received that the Science Fair became an annual event.
In 1961 the Grand Prize was awarded to John Coombs, of B.C.I. for his spectroscope, which he assembled and demonstrated. Later that year he entered his spectroscope at the Ontario Science Fair in Toronto. The 1962 Grand Prize winner was Vincent Miller, also of B.C.I. His exhibit, chosen out of the 60 projects, was a study in reproduction, with a schematic presentation of different stages in the development of an embryo. The Rotary representative that year was Dave Gale, who took over from Steve Tripp from 1961. Two other prize winners were Miss Beverly Davies’ “the origin of wave patterns in liquids” and “studies in interference of waves” – and Miss Hennesey’s “a scientific and historical approach to the study of the Parthenon”. The 1963 Fair was moved to the girls’ gym at B.C.I., with Mr. J. Bakker as secretary-treasurer. A total of 55 entries from seven schools were on display. The winner that year, was the runner up from the previous fair.
Beverly Davies’ interest in science was kindled by Mr. Blenn Shaver, her science teacher at B.C.I. She first entered an exhibit on solar energy at the 1961 fair. The exhibit took first place in its category and was then shown at the Toronto District Science Fair. She began the summer to plan her next project on wave patterns, which also won her first prize in the category. She was one of the three local students selected to exhibit at the first Canada-wide Science Fair, held at Carleton University, Ottawa.
The Science Fair and Hobby Show, operated fully by the Rotary Club, continued to be successful, educational and popular event for the next thirteen years, though, towards the end of some its luster began to fade a bit. The costs of renting the facilities, utility bills, advertising and other costs were increasing with attendance remaining static. There was a desire amongst the Hobby Show participants to be able to sell their wares; an idea not favoured by the Rotary Club. In 1979, the final year of the even, only the Science Fair was held. The Rotary Club then decided to discontinue operating the Science Fair. Since then, the schools themselves have run an annual science fair.
What should not be forgotten, however, is the time, effort, and money put into the Science Fair, for the 17 years by the club and its members. Events such as this need manpower – something in large supply at Rotary. They were required for help with decorations, dismantle and clean-up, security, refreshments, publicity, and countless other jobs. The club also covered the cost of rental of the building, heat and power, insurance, fire supervision and other inherent costs. The club also covered the expenses of sending the winning student to the Toronto Science Fair, and with a teacher, to the National Science Fair, each year.
The Science fair is now being held at Loyalist College. We really appreciate the support they have given the science fair. It has been amazing.