Purdue University Fort Wayne held the 64th Annual Northeast Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair (NEIRSEF) on Saturday, March 16, in Walb Union’s Classic and International Ballrooms.
More than 100 students in the Junior Division (grades 4-8) and Senior Division (grades 9-12) who placed in their local school science fair competed for numerous awards and more than $2,500 in cash prizes donated by area businesses and organizations. The students represent 34 schools and one homeschool group in an eight-county area that includes Adams, Allen, Huntington, Kosciusko, Miami, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley.
This year’s research included investigations of the five-second rule, the effect of pass direction on shot percentage, and the use of algae biomass for water purification and energy production.
Eight fourth grade students received placement awards including Branson Birkey, who won first place for his grade group and the $100 Director’s Award. Nine fifth graders recieved placement awards. Grace Geradot finished in first place among fifth graders and won the $100 Director’s Award. Tessa Chesney-Jordan won the Arthur Friedel Most Promising Young Scientist Award among all elementary participants.
In the middle school Junior division, Lydia Moran won first place and the Junior Outstanding Project award. Clara Moran finished in second place and Chloe Park was in third.
Bethany Petry won the high school Senior division and the Senior Outstanding Project award. Sarah Rodenbeck finished in second place. Gracie Clark, Sydney Holub and Isabella Ogg tied for this place in the Senior division.
Winners of the NEIRSEF will move on to the 31st Annual Hoosier Science and Engineering Fair (HSEF) on Saturday, March 30, in Indianapolis. Students in the Junior Division will be judged for prizes and awards, while Senior Division winners will join the Indiana Delegation to compete at the 2019 Intel® International Science and Engineering Fair May 1217 in Phoenix.
23 students from the regional competition will go to the state competition. First place finishers from the elementary levels as well as nine representatives from the Junior division and 12 from the Senior division were invited to the state competition.
Indiana’s science and engineering fairs are set to highlight the importance and value of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and encourage the students to pursue an education and career in the STEM field.