The Wood Magic Science Fair™ (WMSF) is an exciting and innovative program aimed specifically at elementary school students. It seeks to educate students about the tremendous importance of wood and wood products to each of us individually and to the economy of the nation. The WMSF is an attempt to change some of the common misconceptions concerning the depletion of trees and to improve the visibility of the forest products industries and emphasize their status as environmental conservators. The WMSF originated at the Forest Products Laboratory, Forest and Wildlife Research Center, Mississippi State University and is beginning to spread to other states.
Our program was initiated in response to the common misconceptions that many students have about the use of forest resources. Students are taught that wood is renewable, recyclable, biodegradable, and durable, and that we are currently growing more trees today in the United States than ever before. They participate in hands-on experiments such as making plywood and paper, and testing the strength of wood. Since its inception, the Wood Magic program has been presented to over 80,000 participants and requests for the program continue to increase.