BEMIDJI, Minn. – On Saturday, Feb. 23, more than 150 high school students from across northern Minnesota will descend on Bemidji State University to display science experiments and projects as part of the 55th Annual Northern Minnesota Regional Science Fair.
The 55th Annual Fair will include more than 150 students in grades 6-12 from 15 counties across northern Minnesota. The single-day event, judged by well-qualified BSU staff and local and regional volunteers, will select 30 to 40 students to advance to competition at the 71st Annual State Science Fair, March 30-April 1 in St. Paul, Minn., while two to three students will also move on to compete at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair presented by Agilent Technologies (ISEF). Two additional students will advance to the ISEF as observers.
The Regional Science Fair is the first step in science fair competition, with selected students progressing on to the state fair, and finally to the ISEF. This competition sequence is one of the few ways that scientific interest and initiative is recognized at the high school level. Particularly for rural students who may be isolated from other students or adult mentors with similar interests, the fair provides a tremendous networking opportunity and also is an important avenue for recognizing students with strong interest in science.
Most of Minnesota’s regional science fairs are held at and supported by state colleges and universities. Each of the eleven regional fairs in Minnesota, as well as the Minnesota State Science Fair, are affiliated with the ISEF, which is run by Washington, D.C.-based Society for Science & the Public. This affiliation enables top students from each fair and their teacher or chaperone to participate in the ISEF, which this year will be held May 11-17 in Atlanta.
The Intel ISEF is the world’s largest pre-college science competition. Now in its 58th year, the Intel ISEF is the world’s only science project competition for students in grades 9-12. The Intel ISEF brings together students, teachers, corporate executives and government officials from around the world. Students compete for over $4 million in scholarships, tuition grants, scientific equipment and scientific trips.
The 55th Annual Northern Minnesota Regional Science Fair will be spread across the BSU campus, offering participants and guests an opportunity to see a wide range of BSU facilities. Room 100 in Memorial Hall and the Beaux Arts Ballroom will jointly serve as the exhibit hall, participant activity area and location for the pizza lunch served to the exhibitors. Judges will convene in the Crying Wolf Room of the Hobson Memorial Union, while the Terrace Lounge will serve as a meeting place for teachers and chaperones. The awards ceremony to conclude the fair will be held in the auditorium in Hagg-Sauer Hall.
On the Web
• Intel International Science and Engineering Fair: http://sciserv.org/isef