Hattiesburg, Miss. – Elementary and high school students from throughout South Mississippi will compete in the Mississippi Region I Science and Engineering Fair at The University of Southern Mississippi March 18-20.
Students from 27 different counties will show off their science skills at the event. Students in grades 1-6 will participate in the Primary Fair March 18 at Reed Green Coliseum, while students in grades 7-12 will compete in the Secondary Fair March 20 at the Thad Cochran Center. Both fairs start at 11:30 a.m. and are open to the public.
“Science fair projects are developed through practical applications of science, reading, math, technology, art, English and oral presentations,” said Cathy Craig, director for Region I. “For many students, the science fair is their first opportunity to apply the educational foundation that our K-12 school system strives to develop.”
Fair participants will be judged on originality, research, experimental design, presentation and their ability to utilize the scientific method. They will also be judged on how well they can back up their claims with academic citations.
Southern Miss scholarships will be awarded to students with the best projects. The top three winners in each category in the Secondary Fair will advance to the state fair on April 3 at the University of Mississippi.
The fair “provides a way for K-12 students to engage in science, to work toward scholarship opportunities and to visit the Southern Miss campus,” said Dr. Sherry Herron, director of the university’s Center for Science and Mathematics Education, which sponsors the Region I Science and Engineering Fair each year. She is also vice president for the Mississippi Science and Engineering Fair (MSEF).
MSEF is affiliated with the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), which will be held May 11 in Atlanta. Two individual projects and a team project from each region will advance directly to the International Fair.
The Mississippi Science and Engineering Fair is one of the oldest fairs in the country. “We strive to be the best,” said Dr. Lawrence Bellipanni, a retired Southern Miss science professor who serves as president of MSEF.
The Center for Science and Mathematics Education will also be sponsoring the Mississippi Science Olympiad March 28, and it will be hosting science camps for first through 12th grade students over the summer.
For more information on the Mississippi Region I Science and Engineering Fair, visit http://www.usm.edu/outreach/msef.html or call Cathy Craig at 601.266.6845. For information on the International Fair, visit http://www.societyforscience.org/isef.
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.