RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — More than 350 students will get together this month to show off what they’ve learned in science class.

Now they need some adults to serve as judges, a few sponsors to put up prizes and some servicemembers to pump up the program.

The Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe Technology Fair 2003 will be May 30 at Ramstein American High School in Germany. Future engineers will be pitted against one another at the 19th annual competition, solving problems and displaying their projects.

The director of the event is seeking some professional help, so to speak.

“We’re looking for people who have worked in the technology industry,” said Frank Pendzich, who doubles as a technology teacher at Gen. H.H. Arnold High School in Wiesbaden.

“It doesn’t have to be in computers. It could be in automotive and mechanical engineering. We’ll also need people to evaluate portfolios — architectural, photographic, graphic arts,” he said.

Pendzich said most of the contestants will be from U.S. schools in Germany, but others will be traveling from Bahrain, Iceland, Italy, England and Belgium.

“They’ll come from any school that falls under DODDS-Europe,” he said.

There are 22 contests scheduled at the middle- and high-school levels, Pendzich said. Among them will be some involving computer-assisted design, others that test structures made from balsa wood.

Pendzich said teachers have been contacting members of industry, civil servants and military engineers for help.

“We try to recruit volunteer judges every year,” Pendzich said. “We’re trying to get a feeling from industry on if we are preparing the kids for industry.”

Pendzich said sponsors such as military spouses clubs and the Society of Military Engineers have given scholarships and prizes for the winners.

Another sponsor has provided software packages.

“We try to make our sponsors a logical choice — it’s for anyone who is interested in furthering a student’s educational career in engineering,” Pendzich said.

Pendzich said he is trying to bring a military helicopter to the show, but conceded that most of the people who operate them have been busy with Operation Iraqi Freedom.

There are other ways servicemembers can help, he said.

“In the past they’ve brought out a communications van and set up radio to show the kids how to transmit messages,” Pendzich said. “They’ve also done demonstrations where they place sensors all over their bodies and played war games.

“[Military] recruiters have also come out. It’s a good opportunity to recruit kids interested in technology.”

The fair ...

WHAT: DODDS-Europe Technology Fair 2003

WHEN: May 30. Contestants set up from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Competitions run from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

WHERE: Ramstein American High School, Ramstein Air Base, Germany

ADMISSION: Free, open to the public

INFORMATION: Frank Pendzich, DSN 337-6319, civilian (+49) (0) 611-705-6319


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