Science fairs are nothing new, but a renewed emphasis on science in the schools are making them more popular.
The science expo in the Akron Public Schools is now the Science, Technology and Math Expo, and this weekend's "STEM" event at North High School brought out nearly 600 student projects - double last year's participation.
"We have all the career education programs here in the Akron Public Schools highlighted by our own students and their teachers," APS health and science learning specialist Katrina Halasa tells AkronNewsNow.com, "so students who are younger can see what opportunities we have in careers."
Halasa says Akron students start dipping into the world of "STEM" young...as early as in third grade.
"For example, they build and shoot rockets, which is an engineering program that is given by OSU Extension. And we also do another one with OSU Extension that has to do with the lifecycle of a chicken. They actually hatch chickens," Halasa says. "So, we're starting very young working with those STEM experiences."
Fifth grader Rebecca Mold showed off a robot called "S To The Fourth Power", otherwise known as "Senior Saver Super Sam".
"We have our catapult attachment on him right now, and we've modified it a little bit," Rebecca explains, "but what it's supposed to do is it's supposed to launch a projectile. It's built entirely out of Legos."
Upstairs from Rebecca and partner Aidan Turner was the University of Akron's Robotics Team - where students got to control "STEVE" - or "Small Tactical Electronic Vehicular Excavator" - built for a NASA competition last year designed to collect sand on the moon.
And the team's Ben Chaffee says he got started as a young student working on robots much in the same way as Rebecca has, at science fairs.
"That's where you start building things, I started with Legos personally," Chaffee tells AkronNewsNow.com, "and I got into college and I started doing robotics on a large scale."
At the STEM Expo, physics students also got a chance to build - and destroy - homemade bridges.