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Students Named Wyoming State Science Fair Sweepstakes Winners at UW

March 8, 2012

Students from Green River, Greybull, Lander, Laramie and Pinedale were the top winners at the Wyoming State Science Fair, held March 4-6, on the University of Wyoming campus.

The Senior Sweepstakes awards went to Ceirra Carlson, Greybull High School; and Maurice Shih and Pooja Ajay Warrier, both from Laramie High School.

Carlson won the physics and astronomy senior division for "An Analysis of The Cost Effectiveness of Improved Residential Heat Production from Sustainable Biomass Resources."

Shih's project, "Novel Steps into the Research and Optimization of the Odd Power Factoring Method," took top honors in the senior computer science category.

Competing in the senior chemistry division, Warrier won with "Effects of Proteins on Dye Sensitive Solar Cells."

All three students qualified for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). ISEF, the largest pre-college science event, is scheduled May 13-18, in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Six junior division Sweepstakes Awards of Exceptional Merit were presented to:

Conor Sullivan, representing Pinedale Middle School, won for "Lift or Bust" in the energy and transportation category.

Lander Middle School's Sadie Thatch topped the environmental management division with her project "Plant It:  Hope for Soap."

The top team project winners came from Green River's Monroe Middle School. Andrew Halverson, Jacob Lock and Braden Reichl combined efforts on their project "Mechanical Efficiency of the Ballista."

The State Science Fair encourages Wyoming students in grades 6-12 to plan, organize, research, prepare and present a project of their interest. It provides students with real-life science experiences, interactions with professionals in the field, and review and application of relevant research, says Wyoming State Science Fair Coordinator Beth Cable, from UW's Science and Math Teaching Center.

The science fair also provides an avenue for students to pursue and excel in personal science interests, and motivates them to pursue careers in related fields, she adds.

Through interviews and interactions, student projects were judged by UW and community professionals, and experts within the various categories. More than 100 judges evaluated student projects.

Students participated in 17 different categories. These included animal science, behavioral and social sciences, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, chemistry, computers, earth and planetary sciences, engineering,  electrical and mechanical engineering, materials and bioengineering, energy and transportation,  environmental management, environmental sciences, mathematics, medicine and health sciences, microbiology, physics and astronomy, and plant sciences.

While on campus, students participated in a variety of shows, programs and tours sponsored by different UW departments and offices.

The Wyoming State Science Fair is supported by donations from UW departments in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines; University Libraries, UW colleges of Arts and Sciences, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Business, Education, Engineering and Applied Science and Health Sciences; the School of Energy Resources, Academic Affairs, and the Office of Research and Economic Development.

For a complete list of category winners listed by junior and senior divisions, click here.

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