BRDC Kicks Off New Science Fair!

We are excited to announce the 1st Annual BRDC Science Fair in partnership with Grayson County Public Schools!  The Science fair is a chance for students to exercise their creative thinking skills, follow their curiosity, learn more about their interests and share their discoveries with others. Project questions arise from the participant’s own experience and context, and students are encouraged to tackle challenges related to the Blue Ridge region.

Even though the Science Fair is a competitive program, it is collaborative by nature with participants supported by peers, teachers, family and mentors. Students may work as individuals or in groups up to three, but the prize award must be shared among the group. Projects may be based on research or innovation, and focused on answering a question through scientific method or innovative solutions through engineering.

BRDC launched the new Science Fair at each of Grayson County’s middle schools: Fries, IMS and Grayson Highlands School. Principals, science teachers, and volunteer mentors participated in the kickoff where over 200 6th and 7th grade students were introduced to scientific and engineering methods. Students saw the grand prize DJI Drone in action.  Additional prizes include gift certificates to Educational Innovations, and best in school trophies.  

Breakout sessions were held to help the students brainstorm in small groups.  The students developed concepts for projects based on their interest. Ideas included studying ways to reduce sound in the gym, testing percentage of water that gives you the best chance to win at the bottle flip game, how to make oil and water stay mixed, and how to build a better escalator (for lumber work). 

BRDC will provide mentors to further assist students in developing their concepts and procedures. Mentor workshops will be held at Fries Middle School on January 28th and Grayson Highlands School on February 18th. Volunteer Mentors include: Darin Handy, Niki Weir, Gary Lavellee, Dr. William Hylander, and Sarah Osborne.  Community members interested in mentoring can contact BRDC at, or call 276-293-1232.

The BRDC Science Fair Committee includes: Aaron Floyd, BRDC Executive Director; Lisa Benish, BRDC Program Coordinator; Scott Jackson-Ricketts, BRDC volunteer; Mr. Hale, IMS Principal; Mr. Alexander, Fries Principal; Mr. Cheeks, GHS Principal; Mrs. Cox IMS, Mrs. Perry GHS, and Mrs. Blankenship FMS.

For more information about the Science Fair, visit