By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The 67th annual Delaware Valley Science Fairs takes place next Tuesday and Wednesday at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.

Henry Disston, president and executive director of the Delaware Valley Science Fairs, says about a thousand kids are expected to participate in this year’s event:

“It’s basically a research competition for students in grades 6-12 in the tri-state area.”

He says it’s a lot more sophisticated than what you might think for this age:

“It’s not the volcano models, solar system models. These kids are actually doing top-notch research and by the time they reach this level, a lot of the research is college work.”

Disston adds the goal is to get the kids interested in the STEM fields:

“It’s a new buzz word now, but it’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.”

Disston says kids create their projects based on their own interests, which he says is a great way to develop a love for their field:

“We encourage kids to think and to solve problems and to come up with news ideas and new ways of doing things, which is very different from what’s happening in a lot of schools where they’re memorizing content.”

The top dozen or so students will move on to the International Science Fair being held this year in Pittsburgh.