Science fair documentary opens minds


Patrick Costello

Experimental science teacher William Furiosi introduces the science fair topic of the screening.


The experimental science program at Oviedo High School sponsored a free screening of the documentary “Science Fair” on Nov. 12. A discussion with a panel of three UCF scientists took place before the showing. The panel covered topics such as the day-to-day work of researchers and the difficulties of conveying research to the public.

The film followed the journeys of students competing at the highest level of academic competition, according to experimental science teacher William Furiosi.

“The movie basically chronicles the story of nine high school research students from all across the country who are ultimately going to compete at the international science fair, so it shows them from where they’re coming up with their own projects, going off into regional competition, and then going off to Los Angeles to the international fair,” Furiosi said.

The movie drew an attendance of between 100 and 150 students, according to Furiosi.

“I thought it was an inspirational movie that helped motivate me to be successful in science and to hopefully one day achieve the goal of being an ISEF finalist,” said sophomore and experimental science student Justin Richburg.

Oviedo earned the right to show “Science Fair” from National Geographic, which produced the film.

“Originally it was Seminole County, the district, that was first asked by National Geographic if we’d be interested in screening, and then because of the success and huge involvement we have at the school, it was then pushed down to say, ‘Hey would you like to host it?’” Furiosi said.

Oviedo’s success at the international science fair was one factor in the decision to show the movie, according to Furiosi.

“Seminole County pretty regularly earns three bids to the international science fair,” Furiosi said. “Last year all three students from Seminole County came from Oviedo.”