March 22, 2004

Students to compete in Science Fair

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. - About 600 junior high and high school students from throughout Southern Illinois will converge on Southern Illinois University Carbondale on Thursday, March 25, for the annual Illinois Junior Academy of Science Region 8 Science Fair.

Judging is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Student Center ballrooms. Public viewing is from 1 to 4 p.m. in the ballrooms. The awards ceremony is at 5:30 p.m. at the SIU Arena.

Students from as far as Mount Vernon, Fairfield and Cairo are competing in the event.

This year there are 18 different project categories, ranging from aerospace and astronomy to behavioral science, engineering, health science, microbiology and zoology. Sixty-two of the projects will advance to statewide competition May 7-8 at the University of Illinois.



Media Advisory


Reporters and photographers are welcome to cover the science fair and talk with participants, instructors and judges between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Thursday, March 25 in the Student Center ballrooms. For more information, contact Kathy Pericak-Spector at 618-453-6573.

More than 150 faculty and graduate students from the colleges of Education and Human Services, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Science and the School of Medicine volunteer as judges. In addition to judging the projects, the judges will offer recommendations on how a student may improve their project.

That interaction with students is important, said mathematics professor Kathy Pericak-Spector.

The science fair "gives a student a real idea what a scientist does," she said. "You are doing experiments, you are making hypothesis and drawing conclusions."

Several of the departments on campus sponsor awards, and several thousand dollars in prize money - ranging from $50 to $200 - is available to participating students and schools, said Pericak-Spector.

Offering education and training opportunities to a variety of pre-adult age groups is among the goals of Southern@150, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.