Fair aims to promote science education

March 19, 2008

By hammersmith

[Source: Ray Parker, Arizona Republic] — More than 950 students filled the Phoenix Convention Center on Tuesday to set up science exhibits for the coming Arizona Science and Engineering Fair. Event director Phillip Huebner said it’s a goal of the new fair to foster greater science rigor at the school and district level around the state. He added only about 30 percent of Arizona’s schools have science fairs, while only about 10 percent of the state’s high schools do. “We have a five-year plan with this new fair and we want to see relavant research,” said Huebner, who works with Arizona State University’s American Indian Programs, which has boosted science participation from reservation schools.

The projects included “The pH levels of headache medications and how it effects stomach acid,” a study of how pheromones affect Betta fish aggression, and a study of the most effective way to grow grass titled “Humorous hydroponics.” Students will set up their projects through today, while judges inspect the projects on Thursday, looking for creative ability, scientific thought, and thoroughness in presentation.

The new state science fair combines several regional ones: the Northern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair, the Central Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair, and the Arizona American Indian Science and Engineering Fair. This year, teachers will be able to participate in workshops and students will be eligible to win more than 300 awards. Fair organizers have applied for a $1.5 million federal grant, which if awarded, they will use to train Arizona educators on how to hold district fairs or offer high-school research classes. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]