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Bucks County Residents Take on Lead Sponsorship of Delaware Valley Science Fairs

(From a press release.)

Bucks County residents Paul and Aarati Martino today announced that they will become the lead sponsors of the Delaware Valley Science Fairs (DVSF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, with a $300,000 gift distributed over the next 3 years.

Currently, in its 76th year, the Delaware Valley Science Fairs aims to bring parents, teachers, and industry professionals together to stimulate and nurture science-based learning experiences for young people so that they can grow and develop into contributing members of the community. The Martinos’ donation will enable the Delaware Valley Science Fairs to grow participation levels, support participants who advance to the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles in May, and fund programs to help teachers support experiential learning.

“Paul Martino has historically been one of the Delaware Valley Science Fairs’ biggest supporters, and we’re thrilled to welcome him and Aarati as our lead sponsors for the next 3 years” said DVSF Executive Director Bob Solomon. “The Delaware Valley Science Fairs makes a real difference in the lives of our participants, and together we are committed to preparing tomorrow’s innovators and providing young people with a brighter future.”

The Delaware Valley Science Fairs oversees thirteen local fairs across all of Delaware, southern New Jersey, and southeast Pennsylvania, including fairs in Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and the Lehigh Valley. In 2023, almost 900 participants from 6th through 12th grade participated in the overarching Delaware Valley Science Fairs, to more than 350 judges from the community, composed of both STEM educators and science-industry professionals.

The 2024 Delaware Valley Science Fair is a three-day event that will feature an extensive preparation day and an awards ceremony to honor top participants. But the main event is the middle day, during which students – who have spent months developing and testing their own hypotheses – present their research to a panel of judges during live interviews.

Students compete in 13 categories over six divisions, ranging from botany to zoology, including chemistry, physics, engineering, and microbiology. In 2023, participants competed for more than 40 special awards, sponsored by corporations, organizations, and individuals, and the top 12 medalists advanced to participate in the 2023 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in Dallas.

Martino, who has served as the Chairman of Delaware Valley Science Fairs since 2018, participated in the event as a student at North Penn High School in Lansdale, PA. He later earned degrees from Lehigh University and Princeton before entering the world of Venture Capital. The Martinos will host DVSF’s contingent of students for a special event in Los Angeles during this year’s International Science Fair (ISEF) which will be held in Los Angeles in May.

“This is an event that was important to me in my middle and high school years and I want it to continue to be a staple event of the community,” said Paul Martino. “STEM continues to play an integral role as a pillar of the modern economy, both nationally and at home here in the Delaware Valley, and I am excited to help further the Delaware Valley Science Fair’s vision… Reward the best, inspire the rest.”

The Delaware Valley Science Fair takes place on April 3rd at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center and there is no entry fee; the costs are covered entirely through the generosity of the DVSF’s donors.

Delaware Valley Science Fairs, Inc. (DVSF) is a forum for middle and high school students to display scientific research and engineering projects that they have completed. The purpose of the Delaware Valley Science Fairs is to connect these hard working and inventive young minds with professionals in their fields. Competitors will be interviewed and have their research evaluated. The primary goals are that the students will gain some insight into new directions for their research, learn new ways of thinking, and, in some cases, be connected with people who could help bring a potential product to market. All of this takes the form of a competition with winners receiving recognition, scholarships, and monetary prizes, as well as a chance to compete in the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair.

Paul and Aarati Martino are Bucks County residents based in Doylestown. Paul Martino is the founder of Bullpen Capital a post-seed stage venture capital firm that invests in a broad spectrum of technology companies. Some of Bullpen Capital’s prominent investments include FanDuel, Grove Collaborative, WAG and PAPER.

Aarati Martino has spent her entire career in the technology industry and holds engineering degrees from Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has spent more than two decades in a prominent position with Google and taught the “Google Magic” enrichment program in the Central Bucks School District. Together, the Martinos are passionate about growing STEAM education in Bucks County and throughout Pennsylvania.

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