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USM Gulf Park Campus Hosts Regional Science Fair

Fri, 03/01/2024 - 08:45am | By: Gabriela Shinskie

USM Gulf Park

More than 120 elementary, middle, and high school students eagerly showcased their scientific research to judges in the Region I and IV Mississippi Science Fair Feb. 29 at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Gulf Park Campus. The winners will advance to the State Fair in Starkville on March 28, with a chance to represent Mississippi in the National Science Fair in California in May.

The annual event included participants from different coastal counties and Hattiesburg. Dr. Julie Cwikla, director of the Center for STEM Education, radiated joy as she weaved through creative project displays of young Mississippi scientists set up on the first floor of Hardy Hall.

“It's truly inspiring to walk around these projects and see the future scientists, engineers, and innovators of tomorrow,” said Dr. Cwikla.

USM Gulf Park


Projects included those focused on behavioral and social sciences, engineering and mechanics, microbiology, plant sciences, organic chemistry and more. The goal of the fair is to offer opportunities for students to engage in STEM education, independent work and develop critical thinking.

The USM Center for STEM education offers new ways for educators to collaborate with STEM education researchers to provide innovative ways to help children develop mathematical concepts, and outdoor learning. USM also offers unique STEM programs to support teachers and students, including GenSea and STEM on Demand.

“Science Fair and our other outreach programs open doors for K-12 students to explore their next steps,” said Dr. Cwikla. “Hosting a Science Fair on this gorgeous beachfront campus, with STEM professors mentoring young students is a terrific celebration of our STEM outreach here at USM.”

Learn more about the Center for STEM Education.