Science competition keeps kids on track to be next wave of researchers

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Curriculet Details
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This article discusses Pittsburgh area schools that are pushing students to participate in science competitions. Although this is suggested for 8th graders, it would easily work for older students or stronger younger readers.

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Science competition keeps kids on track to be next wave of researchers.docx

Does this sound like a typical 8th grade science experiment?   
What opportunities do you have to do hands-on work?  Are there any things you could do to help yourself be better prepared for high school and college scholarship? 
You can follow this link to Duquesne University's article about their support of this program. (This annotation contains a link)
Participating in such a program could give students all of the following advantages EXCEPT   
If more students don't decide to focus on science, what do you think might happen to the jobs that aren't being filled?   
Why do you think these types of experiences would help students become more self-reliant and successful?  Can you think of any classes or clubs at your school that might help provide you with hands-on learning experiences?