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Andrea Spencer, Science Fair Director, (712) 359-2437
Howard Shapiro, Provost's Office, (515) 294-6365
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


AMES, Iowa -- Ever wonder which string phone works the best? Or if farm waste can be converted into fuel? Have you ever considered how much fat is in fast food or how much electromagnetic radiation you are exposed to in a typical day? These are some of the questions that will be explored at the 2003 State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa at Iowa State University, March 28 and 29.

Nearly 430 students will be exhibiting 346 projects at the fair. Science fair events are free and open to the public.

The fair is the only statewide general science fair for middle- and high-school students in Iowa. Science fair exhibits will be on display in Iowa State's Hilton Coliseum Friday, 1-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.; and on Saturday, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. The fair concludes Saturday with an awards ceremony at 4:15 p.m. at Hilton, which also is open to the public.

"The science fair is a great benefit to students because it allows them to develop their knowledge and skills in science and technology," said Howard Shapiro, ISU vice provost and chair of the science fair board.

"Iowa's best and brightest students participate in the science fair and it is amazing to see the level of science at which they perform," added Andrea Spencer, director of the fair.

Science fair entries are broadly divided into physical and biological sciences. Awards are given at four levels: sixth grade, seventh grade, eighth grade and senior (ninth through 12th grades). Prizes will be awarded at the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade levels. High school winners receive scholarships as well as other prizes.

The value of awards to be given out this year is approximately $32,000. The Iowa Space Grant Consortium will sponsor a $5,000, $3,500 and $1,500 one-year tuition grants to the top three senior exhibitors, which can be used at any of Iowa's Regent universities or Drake University. The Iowa Energy Center provides $7,000 in scholarships to fair projects related to energy, and the Iowa Biotechnology Association will hand out $5,000 in scholarships to projects judged to be the best in the life sciences. Whitney Memorial Scholarships will be handed out to first-, second- and third-place winners in the high school biological and physical sciences divisions.

A new award this year will be the Ufa, Bashkortostan Russian Memorial, sponsored by the McNabb family. It will award $1,000 to the top sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade projects.

Last year, nearly 430 students displayed 355 projects at the fair. Chris Nelson, of Stuart, Iowa, a senior at West Central Valley High School, won a $5,000 scholarship for his project "Soy Silage." Nelson compared traditional hay silage to soy-based silage (or feed for cattle), and found that soy is an excellent feed, providing high nutrition to cattle and that it is economically viable as silage.

"The students participating in this year's fair will have equally exciting projects on display, and we invite everyone to come see them," Shapiro said.


To access a zipped Excel file of the list of students participating in this year's science fair, including their hometowns and the schools they attend, go to

Iowa State University
... Becoming the Best
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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