2018 Regional Science and Engineering Fair Competition: Leading Area Students to Careers in Science, Technology and Engineering

This year’s Savannah River Regional Science and Engineering Fair competition winners (High School Best of Show) Thomas Collingsworth (left), Cross Creek High School, third place; Madi Hancock, South Aiken High School, second place; and Krishnan Raju, Lakeside High School, first place.

Students from a six-county region, within the greater Aiken-Augusta area, competed for this year’s blue ribbons and a trip to the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair competition

AIKEN, S.C. – (March 20, 2018) – With the support of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) and the University of South Carolina Aiken’s Ruth Patrick Science Education Center, hundreds of Central Savannah River Area science-savvy students recently participated in the 2018 Savannah River Regional Science and Engineering Fair competition.

More than 200 students representing schools from a six-county region located within the greater Aiken-Augusta area put their project on display at the University of South Carolina Aiken (USCA) in an attempt to impress the judges.

Each year, approximately 7 million high school students around the globe develop original research projects and present their work at local science and engineering fair competitions with the hope of making it to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, Pa.

“The diversity and creativity of the projects is always Impressive,” said Francine Burroughs, SRNS Manager, Education Outreach and Talent Management.  “You just never know what you’re going to see.  The dedication and ingenuity displayed by the students is often inspiring.”

With the support of co-sponsor USCA, SRNS is coordinating the competition for the eighth year, ensuring an educational and rewarding experience for each student competitor.

“The Savannah River Regional Science and Engineering Fair gives young people from the area the opportunity to explore the world of science and technology and develop their scientific investigation skills by planning, developing their own ‘hands-on’ science projects,” said Kim Mitchell, Science Fair Coordinator and SRNS employee.

After winning this year and the 2017 Savannah River Regional Science and Engineering Fair, Lakeside High School junior Krishnan Raju stated that the judging aspect of the competition was highly beneficial.  “The questions judges asked were useful, as their expertise helped me find areas of my research that I will read more on to gain a broader understanding of the field related to my project,” he said.

“My trip to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair last year was the most rewarding part of my experience as I had a chance to see finalists as interested in science as me.  This program immerses students in an atmosphere of innovation and learning,” said Raju.  “I think it is important for programs such as the science fair conducted by SRNS to thrive and expand so that more students get interested in STEM.”

Projects were judged for scientific reasoning, creative ability, thoroughness, technical skill and clarity.  This event promotes students' interest in science and engineering by providing public recognition of outstanding work and by giving students the opportunity to interact with community scientists and engineers.

Forty volunteers from the Savannah River Site, USCA and the community typically participate as officials and judges for this competition.

“I can’t believe I won at my school to qualify for the regional competition.  I was so happy when I saw the ribbon on my project,” said Hailee Brown, Seventh Grade, North Augusta Middle.

“Science Fair helped me learn new things about science and a lot about responsibility,” she said.  “The hardest part was writing the report.  But, that’s also the most important part since that’s how you get information to people.”

List of winning students: http://rpsec.usca.edu/Events/ScienceFair/2018/2018SciFairAwardWinners.pdf