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DWU to host regional science fair

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Dakota Wesleyan University will host the 26th annual South Central South Dakota Regional Science and Engineering Fair on Tuesday, March 20, in the Christen Athletic Center on campus.

The competition includes students in grades six through 12, from 23 schools in 18 South Dakota counties.  Projects will be on display for viewing by the public from 2 to 5 p.m.

Students participating in this regional event will bring projects that have already won in science fairs at local schools.  This year's fair includes 121 projects produced by 188 students.

Dr. Michael Farney, fair director and professor of mathematics at Dakota Wesleyan, said that it would be hard to overestimate the success of last year’s projects.

“Four Mitchell students achieved a ‘clean sweep’ of three of the largest science fairs in the country last year,” Farney said.

At the International Genius Olympiad competition in New York, Andrew Weller and Haley Rust, both of Mitchell, each received silver awards – top 70 to 90 percent – for “The Effects of E-cigarettes on Mealworm Offspring.” Alexander Rodriguez, Mitchell, placed fourth at the International Science and Engineering Fair for “Artificial Sugars and Increased Lipid Levels.”  Hannah Hetland, Mitchell, received a bronze award from I-SWEEP for her supercapacitor.

“I see increasing enthusiasm for practical projects that reflect the agricultural nature of our state,” he said. “Those who attend the regional fair will find young scientists who are eager to improve crop production and junior engineers who intend to make farming more efficient.”

More than 70 judges will select the grand awards winners, including three projects that will advance to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair May 13-18 in Pittsburgh, Pa., and one project to compete in Oswego, N.Y.

Awards to be given to participating students include: cash; certificates; and DWU scholarships, including $12,000 to the senior grand award winners; plaques; medals; trophies; major industry recognition; a $5,000 lab makeover; and recognition by a variety of military branches. 

In addition to DWU, sponsors include The Daily Republic, Your Touchtone Energy Cooperatives, Sixth District Medical Society, Twin City Fan Companies, LTD., Davison County Implement, Lisa and Corey Thelen, Andrew Farke, and Logan Luxury Theatres Corporation.