The inspiration for Science Buddies came from founder Ken Hess seeing how much his teenage daughter learned and how much fun she had participating in science fairs. Researching science fair participation, Ken was dismayed to find out how few kids participate in science fairs, especially considering the critical need to improve science achievement levels of American students. As an engineer and as a high-tech businessman, Ken was all too familiar with the urgent need for our country to produce more science-literate citizens and more skilled knowledge workers to meet the labor demands of our high-tech industries. Ken thought that with science fair "productivity tools" and mentoring, many more students could participate in science fairs and develop inspirational relationships with science role models. Over time, such a program would help students improve their science skills and literacy while inspiring them to consider careers in science and engineering.