Each year, in May, I have the distinct pleasure of serving as a volunteer judge for the Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair (MSSEF). The event, which takes place at MIT, is one of my favorite days of the year. I spend most of my days alone in my home office immersed in some of the less appealing aspects of science education—the politics, the standards, and of course, the denialism that worms its way into far too many classrooms. MSSEF is like a booster shot of morale—an inoculation against despair and frustration.

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