My son, Elijah, recently competed in the Louisiana Region 5 Science Fair.

His project this year was a robot that he built with the help of my dad.  He also programmed it to do several operations like: follow a black line around a track, being responsive to touch and change directions when traveling, and he programmed it to see how far its in front of an object and stop at a certain distance.

Science Fair Robotics Project - Mikey O

Elijah loves everything that has to do with science.  He also loves science fairs and projects.  I guess he got that trait from my dad, who is a jack of all trades, because he definitely didn't get it from me.  I'm not a handy dude, and I hated projects with a passion in my school days.

Anyways, he won 1st place at his school in the Robotics/Engineering Category, which gave him the chance to compete Tuesday at the Louisiana Region 5 Science Fair.  The event brought 6 southern parishes together and the competition was fierce.

Proud Pappa Moment - Mikey O

He totally rocked it out!  I could see him throwing the "Oleander Charm" on the judges when they were talking to him.  He was very animated and making them laugh.  Apparently his project was the talk at the judge's table.  When we were leaving after judging was over, one of the organizers asked him what grade he was in and what his project was.  When he told her she said, "Oh yeah, we all heard about your project".

I didn't realize how big science fair is.  Also during our conversation with one of the organizers she was telling us that at International Science Fair students can win up to $80,000 and free scholarships to Universities.  She said her nephew won $40,000 and a full ride to Rice University.  That is mind blowing!

Elijah with all the other 1st place winners in the Junior Categories - Mikey O

Unfortunately, 5th graders can't move on to the state competition in Baton Rouge (only middle school and up can move on from the Regionals).  He was bummed, but he is already talking about the project he wants to do next year.

When I heard his name announced for 1st place in Robotics, I had such a rush of pride, I had to hold back the tears.  I am so proud of him!

Elijah showing his medal and robot - Mikey O

Threw some conversation we found out that the middle school he's going to next year doesn't participate in science fair, however, he was told that anyone can enter a project to the Louisiana Regional Science Fair, even if their school doesn't participate.

It was a great experience filled with life long memories made!