By Jason Chen

With the new school year already well on its way, the Irvine Unified School District once again hosted its annual Ask-a-Scientist Night on Wednesday, October 16th at Rancho San Joaquin Middle SchoolAsk-a-Scientist Night is a great opportunity for students from the 6th grade all the way to the 12th grade to ask questions to scientists from all across Irvine. These scientists and engineers come from UC Irvine, the Irvine Ranch Water District, Chapman University, Western Digital, and many other places. Many kids needing help on their assignments, like the Science Fair project, come to this event to receive the help they need.

Students needing help in a particular area of science could go to a specific classroom, where they could ask experts that specialize in that subject. Almost every field of science, ranging from earth science to chemistry to microbiology, was covered at the event. With over ninety scientists and engineers, there was no shortage of knowledge, and the students who attended took full advantage of that.

Most of the questions asked pertained to the Science Fair competition, an event also held every year that challenges students to investigate a scientific principle further. All students compete at the school level first, then a select few students are allowed to advance to the district level. This school year, the district Science Fair will be held at Woodbridge High School on Tuesday, February 25th, 2014. Many people attending the Ask-a-Scientist night are hard at work on gathering valuable information to complete their project.

The event is completely free, so anyone and everyone is welcome to attend. It is also held every year – in case you missed it, the Ask-a-Scientist night will almost definitely be back next year. It’s a rare opportunity for students and scientists alike to meet with each other and talk about science.