Then it was time to take the project board to school to be judged. She marched in with her prepared board with so much confidence, while I looked around the room and noticed her board was definitely different from the others and my heart was sinking fast. What had we done? We made her prepare it exactly as the directions told her to. But I had to remind myself that this was her "practice" year and she was very proud of her project and that was the most important thing. Plus, I was so proud of the effort and time she had put into this.
The next day was the Science Fair Open House and Award Ceremony. Her excitement was building. All the proud family members were there to encourage and show their support for all their young scientists. The room was filled with smiles and eagerness to learn the results.
Her science teacher started out by announcing the participants first then moved to the ribbon winners. Our daughter's name hadn't been announced yet, and they were announcing Honorable Mention. This award was a tie, surely she would be one of them. I clinched my camera closer, and her name wasn't called for either of those. Now it's time for the Third Place to be announced, no, it wasn't her either. Okay, two more students left, her best friend and herself, Second place winner was... her best friend. The only student left was our (now beaming) daughter. Tears started building in my eyes, trying to hold them back long enough to take the picture of her award acceptance. She had WON!!!