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Future of Ohio Region 13 Science and Engineering Fair in Jeopardy

March 9, 2004

The Ohio District 13 Science Day and Region 13 Science and Engineering Fair will be held March 27 at Mount Union College, showcasing the talents of young people interested in science, mathematics and technology. The District 13 committee is currently seeking the donations and sponsors needed to assure that the event will remain a viable forum for the future leaders of science and industry.

 

Currently, Carroll, Stark, and Tuscarawas counties are in serious jeopardy of losing the ability to hold the Ohio Region 13 Science and Engineering Fair, which is held concurrently with the District 13 Science Day.

"This year we have 14 students from four area high schools who have worked on their independent research project all year. Some of these students have had mentors from area colleges and businesses, and their work is worthy of respect in the scientific community," said Charleen Race, the academic outreach coordinator for Mount Union College and coordinator of District Science Fair.

As a non-profit organization associated with the Ohio Academy of Science and Science Education Programs of Science Service, the District 13 Science Day and Region 13 Science and Engineering Fair depend on student registration fees and contributions from the community to operate. Each year over 300 students, grades 6 - 12, from 26 schools in Carroll, Stark, and Tuscarawas Counties display and present their independent science research projects at the District 13 Science Day. These are students who have achieved a "superior" rating at their local science fair and compete at the district level for the chance to be recognized through special awards, scholarships and advancement to the next level of competition. Eighty students from Ohio District 13 will go on to present at the Ohio State Science Day in May, where they have a chance to win part of the $600,000 in scholarships and cash awards.

Typically, the top three high school student projects (two individual and one team) will be chosen from our District to attend the International Science and Engineering Fair to be held in Portland, Oregon in May. The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world's largest pre-college science competition, provides an opportunity for the best young scientists to compete for over $3 million in awards and scholarships. This all-expense paid trip is only possible through donations at the district level.

"At this time, we will not be able to send any of these young scientists on to the ISEF," said Race. "This would be the first time in 14 years that our area is not represented by our Stark, Tuscarawas or Carroll County students. Last year, one of our Region XIII students came in 4th place in her category in competition with over 1000 high school age students from all over the world. Our students have done extremely well traditionally in this competition and have won honors each year, which translates to scholarships for the participants."

Businesses, professional societies, clubs and individuals may offer special awards of cash, scholarships or support the Fair through program book advertisements and general contributions.

"At a time when the Ohio Department of Education is instituting their new Academic Content Standards for Science, which promote student independent research, we are losing our edge at having our students recognized for their dedication to the process of science at a high level," said Race.

Anyone interested in helping support the Region 13 Science and Engineering Fair can contact Race at (330)-829-8161 or by email at racech@mountunion.edu. The Science Day and Science and Engineering Fair webpage can be accessed through the Mount Union College website at www.mountunion.edu by clicking "Science Day" listed under "Visitor Tools."

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