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University of South Carolina Region II Science & Engineering Fair: serving: Calhoun, Clarendon, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, and Sumter counties.

2000 Summary

The University of South Carolina hosted the Central South Carolina Region II Science & Engineering Fair on March 24 & 25, 2000. Students from nine counties (listed above) competed for over $30,000.00 in scholarships, savings bonds, and trip awards.

Five hundred and six (506) students, one hundred and four (104) teachers participated in the event. The students were selected by one hundred and fifty-one (151) judges comprised of college professors, medical scientists, U.S. Army, Marine, and Air Force officers, as well as business leaders from the Midlands Community. Awards were available in 51 major categories, such as Engineering, Women in Science, Chemistry, etc., and most awards had Junior, Senior, and Team subcategories, often with 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Honorary Mention standings awarded. There were a total of 193 awards given among those varied categories and standings. It was possible for students with very good projects to win awards in one or more categories. There were best overall standings for grades 5-12, as well as for best individual junior, senior and team projects.

Participation in science fairs on the local, regional, and national/international levels presents opportunities to students for travel and interaction with scientists from both academic and industrial backgrounds. The next highest-level fair is the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) which is held annually and features the best regional/national student projects from around the world. Our regional judges selected six students, two teachers and one mentor to be in the Official Party to represent South Carolina at ISEF in Detroit, Michigan, May 7-13, 2000. The University of South Carolina, with support from the South Carolina Academy of Science, sent the following students to ISEF:

Grand Prize Team Division winners, Bevin Hutchenson and Paul Sagona, both of Crestwood High School; Grand Prize Female Senior Division winner, Amanda Fox of Spring Valley High School; and replacing Grand Prize Male Senior Division winner Ryan Wells (who could not attend) was Molly Peeples of Spring Valley High School. Students sent as Official Observers were Isaac Van Duys, of Spring Valley High School and Michael Clements, of Dent Middle School. USC sent two teachers, Mr. Robert Barth, of Crestwood High School and Marilyn V. Senneway, of Spring Valley High School, to lead the official ISEF party. In addition, Dr. Karen Fox, a mentor for one of the student projects, was also selected as a member of the ISEF contingent.

Historical Changes

We have worked hard in the past five years to strengthen the USC Central South Carolina Science & Engineering Fair. We made it possible for sixth graders to become eligible for the Region II Science & Engineering Fair in 1996. We introduced Team Projects in 1997 - the first time in four decades for Region II. In the year 2000, we lowered the grade limit to enable fifth-grade students in the nine-county region to become eligible.

In 1999, the Discovery Corporation introduced the Discovery Young Science Challenge (DYSC) - essentially ISEF for students in grades 5-8. In 1999, we nominated 40 middle school students to compete in DYSC. In 2000, that number rose to 45 because of the increased overall participation in our fair (from 384 to 506 students). Those 45 DYSC nominees receive national recognition from Science Service in Washington, D.C. Their award includes an honor certificate, a great-looking DYSC T-shirt and a lapel pin recognizing their achievement at the national level. In addition, they receive instructions and an entry form to compete with 4,000 other students at the international level.
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Publication:Bulletin of the South Carolina Academy of Science
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U5SC
Date:Jan 1, 2001
Words:582
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