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Nearly 400 students from 42 different Wyoming schools will compete in the Wyoming State Science Fair (WSSF) Sunday-Tuesday, March 1-3, at the University of Wyoming Union Ballroom.
Student projects will be open for public viewing from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Monday, March 2.
“We invite the public to stop by to ask questions or just to enjoy the research being done by Wyoming’s youth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education throughout the state,” says Wyoming State Science Fair Coordinator Joy B. Johnson, and a UW Science and Math Teaching Center assistant lecturer.
This year’s theme is “Building Capacity.” Several UW departments and STEM programs affiliated with the various university STEM initiatives will have exhibitions on the main Wyoming Union floor during the State Science Fair from 9 a.m.-noon.
“The demonstrations are designed to allow WSSF participants and the at-large UW community of students, faculty and staff to become more engaged in STEM learning,” Johnson says.
The State Science Fair encourages students in Wyoming grades 6-12 to plan, organize, research, prepare and present projects of their interest. The science fair provides an avenue for students to pursue and excel in personal science interests, while also motivating them to pursue careers in related fields.
“Students will have the opportunity to interact with real-world scientists in labs and panel discussions when they come on campus,” Johnson says. “Student science-themed artwork will be featured on buttons and T-shirts during the state competition.”
Students with winning projects may receive various monetary and non-monetary prizes or scholarship awards from local community and campus sponsors. Five top winners have the opportunity to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), including the top middle school scientist who will attend as an observer. The ISEF, the largest pre-college science competition in the United States, will be in Pittsburgh, Pa., in May.
Seven regional fairs take place throughout the state in late January and February, with winning students and their projects advancing to the Wyoming State Science Fair. Almost 900 students from around the state competed in regional fairs this year, Johnson says.
Students compete in 17 categories at the State Science Fair: animal science; behavioral and social sciences; biochemistry; cellular and molecular biology; chemistry; computers; earth and planetary sciences; engineering: electrical and mechanical engineering; engineering: materials and bioengineering; energy and transportation; environmental management; environmental sciences; mathematics; medicine and health sciences; microbiology; physics and astronomy; and plant sciences.
Projects are judged by UW content experts, community professionals and specialists from relevant industries.
“We hope to have more than 100 volunteer judges evaluate student projects through personal interviews, interactions and peer reviews,” Johnson says.
Students representing the following schools will be at the Wyoming State Science Fair on the UW campus:
Afflerbach Elementary School, Cheyenne; Big Horn High School; Big Horn Middle School; Big Piney Middle School; Burns Junior High School; Casper Classical Academy; Cody Middle School; Douglas Middle School; Dubois Middle School; Encampment School; Fort Washakie Middle School; Greybull Middle School; Greybull High School; Holy Name Catholic School, Sheridan; Johnson Junior High School, Cheyenne; Lander Middle School; Lander Valley High School; Lander Catholic Homeschool; Laramie Junior High School; Laramie Senior High School; Lingle/Fort Laramie Middle School; and Lingle/Fort Laramie High School.
Also, Little Snake River Valley Middle School, Baggs; Meeteetse schools; Monroe Intermediate School, Green River; Natrona County High School, Casper; Newcastle Middle School; Newcastle High School; Noah Webster Christian School, Cheyenne; Pinedale Middle School; Pinedale High School; Paradise Valley Christian School, Casper; Pioneer Park Elementary School, Cheyenne; Riverton High School; Rocky Mountain High School, Byron; Sheridan Junior High School; and Sheridan High School.
Also, Snowy Range Academy, Laramie; South High School, Cheyenne; Southeast Middle School, Yoder; Southeast High School, Yoder; Spring Creek Elementary School, Laramie; St. Anthony Tri-Parish Catholic School, Casper; Star Lane Center, Casper; Tongue River Middle School, Dayton; Tongue River High School, Dayton; Torrington Middle School; Torrington High School; Upton Middle School; Wheatland Middle School; Wind River Middle School, Pavillion; and Wind River High School, Pavillion.
Persons interested in volunteering, judging or for more information should contact Johnson at (307) 766-9863 or email JoyB.Johnson@uwyo.edu.