Southern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair

By Franklin Lane

Every year SARSEF conducts a regional science fair for local school, science fair winners.  These students compete for awards in various categories and for an invitation to the National level competition.  For the last three years the regional fair has been virtual.  Normally projects are displayed and judged live at the Tucson Convention Center.

SARSEF’s mission is to create Arizona’s future critical thinkers and problem solvers through science and engineering.” Participants have gone on to become “neurosurgeons, engineers, wildlife conservationists, veterinarians, teachers and professors, journalists and so much more.”

Student projects can additionally be recognized by SARSEF sponsors. This year the Pima County Chapter of the Arizona Master Naturalists sponsored an award for K-8 students. The Chapter Board of Directors voted to award a trophy and a $100 cash prize to that project which best explored “The Ecology of the Sonoran Desert.”

An ad hoc committee consisting of Peggy Ollerhead (C3), Marlene Shamis (C4) and Franklin Lane (C1) was formed to apply for SARSEF sponsorship and ultimately judge eligible projects.  Hundreds of projects were triaged electronically for both age group and topic relevancy.  A final six were then carefully considered by the committee for the PCMN award.  The winner was Myla Closterman, a 2nd grader in Ms. Laura Kupper’s class at Canyon View Elementary School.  Myla’s research investigated Antlions (Myrmeleon sp.) and was aptly named “The Lion Project”.

You can view Kyla’s project here:

Hopefully this will become an annual event for the Chapter.

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