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by Anne Stokes

California’s young people have a bright future, and the State Fair gives them the encouragement to keep chasing their dreams of being the best.

The California State Fair Student Showcase is a testament to their talents in the arts, sciences, technology and math. One young artist, 15-year-old Amy Dimas, entered several pieces into last year’s student competitions — and took home three ribbons.

“It was incredible. It was a really good feeling to have something like that out there,” she says. “I thought it was pretty interesting and amazing that they picked out my art piece from many other amazing ones.”

Amy’s multimedia piece(at left) “Albatross” is made with 2,000 plastic bottle caps. Originally a biology class project created to highlight the importance of recycling and reducing plastic use, the piece placed third and picked up a special award from the State Parks Foundation.

“These kinds of competitions definitely allow for the students’ hard work to be showcased, appreciated and recognized,” says Alison Wells with the California State Fair. “I think putting [an entry] together and submitting [it] into a competition really shows diligence and pride in people’s projects.”

Previously, students could enter separate competitions such as youth arts or industrial technology and education. As judges started to see an increase in the number of youth entries that combined elements of art and science, such as Amy’s “Albatross,” youth competitions were merged into a Student Showcase covering science, technology, engineering, arts and math categories.

California students from kindergarten to community college are now eligible to compete in traditional categories, such as fine arts and woodworking, as well as new ones like college fundraising and social media campaigns. Judging panels are made up of industry professionals who are qualified to give students constructive feedback.

Amy says that her success has made her feel more confident in her art. “Being able to see, as people walk by the art piece, their reaction, that was the best part of it,” she says.

See this year’s Student Showcase winners at the Fair on display at the Expo Center Buildings.


Courtesy of The Sacramento News Review