Friday, February 18, 2011

STEM Center Hosts 57th Annual Science Fair

Tennessee Tech University's Millard Oakley STEM Center will be bursting with competitive exhibitions by nearly 200 students from 16 counties during the 57th Annual Cumberland Plateau Regional Science & Engineering Fair on Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26.  The long-standing regional fair, an affiliate member of the International Science & Engineering Fair organization, offers a variety of competition categories for students in the fourth through 12th grades. Awards include scholarships and monetary prizes, certificates, ribbons, and other forms of individual recognition. The scholarship awards are the Grand and Reserve Awards. Grand award winners receive $3,000 and Reserve winners receive $1,500 in scholarship funds applicable for any course of study at Tennessee Tech University.

"I am so looking forward to this year's science and engineering fair," said Bethany Stevens, fair director and associate professor in TTU's College of Education. "We were very pleased to see a 20 percent increase in participation from 2009 to 2010. There were terrific and interesting projects exhibited last year. Our students are extremely talented – it is wonderful to be able to offer them an opportunity to showcase their work and research. In 2010, exhibitions and research ranged from the water quality of local rivers to germ studies in regional department stores."

On Friday, March 25, the 2011 fair welcomes featured speaker Richard Turner, an accomplished TTU alumnus, to the 57th opening ceremony at 7 p.m. in the STEM Center's auditorium. Turner holds bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry ('64 & '66, respectively), and a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Florida, and postdoctoral work in polymer chemistry in Darmstadt, Germany. He has been named a "Top 10" scientist identified by Business Tennessee magazine.

On the morning of Saturday, March 26, the panel of judges will begin their review of the entries. The panel consists of TTU faculty members, individuals from the community (holding appropriate science degrees), and TTU graduate students. Exhibitions are open for public viewing from noon until 3 p.m.; awards will be presented in the late afternoon.

For more information about the 57th Annual Cumberland Plateau Regional Science & Engineering Fair, contact Christina Hatley at the STEM Center, 931-372-6573 or visit