Troy, N.Y. — More than 150 area middle and high school students from the greater Capital Region will participate in the 25th Annual Greater Capital Region Science and Engineering Fair on Saturday, March 21. The daylong event, which will include students from more than 20 regional schools, will be held on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute campus in the Walker Laboratory building.
The event is coordinated by the Greater Capital Region Science and Engineering Fair, Inc., with help from the Science Teachers Association of New York State (STANYS). The event has been hosted at Rensselaer for 25 years with support from faculty, students, and staff, along with support from the School of Science, Office of Admissions, and President’s Office.
Working alone or in teams of up to three, students will showcase their research in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Students are encouraged to focus on original research by working with mentors and/or teachers from the scientific community within the greater Capital Region. Students use a storyboard to present their research to a panel of judges comprised of scientists and engineers.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for students to share their passion for the STEM disciplines and to be recognized for their endeavors,” said Joan Wagner, STANYS fair director. “In coordinating this event, we’ve found that when students do original research, they learn what science entails. Who knows, perhaps a new cure for cancer, innovative approaches to alternative energy, or a new device to help the handicapped may be solved by the work of these students as they pursue their science career!”
“The students who devote their time and energy to doing projects for the science fair are among the best and the brightest,” said Samuel Wait Jr., former associate dean of the School of Science and professor of chemistry at Rensselaer, who has served as a judge for the fair. “Their enthusiasm is very evident. I also commend the teachers and mentors who guide these students. It is a pleasure to know that Rensselaer is encouraging their development as leaders of the future.”
The program will begin at 9 a.m., with judges reviewing projects throughout the morning and early afternoon. Student projects will be available for public viewing from 2:30 to 4 p.m.
At 4:15 p.m., Cullen Blake, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania, and himself a former science fair participant, will deliver the keynote address on the topic of the search for exoplanets. A full program and additional information is available on the Greater Capital Region Science and Engineering Fair, Inc. website.
Students from public and private schools and home-schooled children may participate in this fair if they live in one of the following counties: Albany, Columbia, Greene, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Orange, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Ulster, Washington, and Warren. Students in grades 6-8 compete in the Junior Division, while those in grades 9-12 compete in the Senior Division.
The three top grand prize winners in the Senior Division (grades 9-12) will be eligible to compete in the 64th Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from May 10-15. The Intel ISEF is the world’s largest pre-college celebration of science, bringing together over 1,600 students from approximately 70 countries. The fair showcases the world’s most promising young scientists, who through scientific investigation are developing ideas and inventions that will change the world. ISEF offers over $4 million in prizes. Of special note, a number of students who competed in this competition have gone on to become recognized as Nobel laureates.
Three more grand prize winners will be invited to attend the STANYS State Science Congress.
The top winners in the Junior Division may be invited to enter the Broadcom Masters National Competition and the STANYS State Science Congress fair, to be held at the Brookhaven National Laboratory on May 30.
Major sponsorship for the science fair comes from the Rensselaer School of Science, Rensselaer Admissions Office ($40,000 scholarship), and the President’s Office. Additional major funding comes from GE Volunteers Foundation, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, which will offer three $20,000 scholarships this year, Pitney Bowes, and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
Additional sponsors for this year’s regional science fair include: the Eastern Section of STANYS; Bechtel; Albany Molecular; American Society for Microbiology, Eastern Branch; Nuclear Society; Pearson/Prentice Hall; John Stasenko, a local engineer; Stewart’s; Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation; and Dudley Observatory.
For more information on the Greater Capital Region Science and Engineering Fair contact:
Donna Marie Mooney, Coordinator of Science Research, Academy of the Holy Names US Greater Capital Region Science and Engineering Fair PR Coordinator Phone: (518) 438-7895 ext. 320 E-mail: Dmooney@ahns.org