Science Fair celebrates 50 years, public invited to events

The upcoming Cumberland Plateau Regional Science and Engineering Fair is throwing a celebration during this year’s competition featuring fun activities and information for the community to mark the fair’s 50th birthday.

The fair, to be held April 2-3 at Tennessee Tech University, offers area students in grades 4-12 a chance to compete for scholarships, cash and prizes, including partial scholarships to Tennessee Tech and a trip to the International Science and Engineering Fair in Portland, Ore., in May.

This year, the fair will also present activities for area families from noon until 4 p.m. in the parking lot next to TTU’s Volpe Library. Students can learn about life on a submarine by visiting with Master Chief Lloyd Hyder who will join TTU engineering students at a display of an award-winning submarine designed by university students.

The Tennessee National Guard will set up a rock climbing wall and a re-engineered HUMMER display. A Mobile Fire Training Simulator Unit will be set up by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry, and the U.S. Air Force will present

“Crossing into the Blue.” Other military and university displays are also expected.
The fair, to be held in TTU’s Roaden University Center, is sponsored by Tennessee Tech University, American Legion Post 135 and Ladies Auxiliary, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6277, Fleet Reserve Association Branch and Unit 265, and Bob Harwood and Woodesigns Inc.

“With the choice of biological, mathematical and physical sciences categories, students this year can create projects in such diverse fields as biochemistry, gerontology and robotics,” said Debra Bryant, who returned as this year’s fair director.

The fair is divided into Intermediate (grades 4 - 6), Junior (grades 7 - 9) and Senior (grades 10 - 12) Divisions. Winners from each division will be awarded ribbons and cash prizes in each of the three categories. Professional societies, commercial firms, military branches and other government agencies will also offer various awards. There are also cash awards for the teachers with the most students entered in the Senior Division.

Two Grand Award winners selected from the senior division will be awarded freshman scholarships of $3000 to Tennessee Tech University and an expense-paid trip to enter their exhibits in the 2004 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Portland, Ore., May 9-15. Teams in the senior division are also eligible for the trip, and the TTU scholarship would be divided among the members. Two Grand Reserve Award winners will also be chosen and these students will receive a $1500 freshman scholarship to Tennessee Tech and an expense-paid trip as observers to the International Fair. There will also be awards for the teachers of the Grand Award winners.

Area students still have time to register to compete for college scholarship money and a trip to international competition. All exhibits must be pre-registered to compete in the fair, and registration forms must be received by the Fair Director by March 29. Any student in grades 4-12 attending a public, private or parochial school or home school in the region, who has received an award in a school fair, is eligible to compete. A student whose school does not have a science fair may enter the Regional Fair directly.

Local fair guidelines and registration forms are available at Registration forms should be faxed to (931) 372-6351. For more information, call Bryant at (931) 372-3668 or Gloria Julian at (931) 372-3483.