2019 Regional Science and Engineering Fair Competition: Leading Area Students to Careers in Science, Technology and Engineering

Students from a seven-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 21, 2019) – 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 2019 Savannah River Regional Science and Engineering Fair competition.

This year’s winners within the High School "Best of Show" category are: First Place, Madison Ackroyd, Aiken Scholars Academy; Second Place, Kiara McKnight, Allendale-Fairfax High School; and Third Place, Rhys Medcalfe, Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School.

More than 200 students representing schools from a seven-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.

"My project this year was difficult, but I gained a lot of experience," said McKnight. "I enjoy science, and I see how working on this project can help me become an electrical engineer one day."

Each year, approximately seven 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 Phoenix, Arizona.

“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 ninth 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 and developing their own ‘hands-on’ science projects,” said Taylor Rice, Science Fair Coordinator and SRNS employee.

According to Camille Rogers, a junior at Cross Creek High School in Augusta, Ga., each year's Science Fair has always been her favorite part of studying science even though this subject is not one of her favorites. "However, God has blessed me with the ability to be sort of good at it and this is a really good time to step out and explore things that I’m interested. Maybe, I could change something in the world that's related to science."

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.

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