State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa Announces 2018 Award, Prize, Scholarship Recipients

April 3, 2018, 10:52 am | Jay Staker, Andrea Spencer

AMES, Iowa – Hundreds of junior and senior high-school students competed for prizes, awards and scholarships during the State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa. The fair serves as the first fair of the year as part of the Iowa 4-H Youth Development Program and was held on March 22 and 23 at Hilton Coliseum on the Iowa State University campus in Ames.
 
“The science fair isn’t what most people think of when you put fair and 4-H together,” said Jay Staker, with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development. "But like all fairs within 4-H, this is a showcase that allows youth to interact with judges about their work and learn from experts.”
 
The SSTFI addresses the Next Generation Science Standards’ call for students to create scientific research using the practices of science and engineering. The Next Generation Science Standards include critical thinking and communication skills, which are important for postsecondary success, according to the National Research Council.
 
SSTFI is a critical scientific experience for Iowa youth that couldn’t be possible without the students, teachers, parents, volunteers, judges and sponsors. “Many participants work up to a full year or longer on their research projects for this event,” said Staker, who also chairs the fair’s advisory board.
 
Through participating in SSTFI, students learn a variety of skills through the creating, investigating and presenting phases of their projects. “These skills that are foundational in 4-H include planning, implementation, problem solving, inquiry and communication,” Staker said.
 
Featured projects helped expand understanding on chemotherapy resistance in cancer cells, improving water quality in Iowa using biochar filters and changing bias with education. This research is often on a par with that done by college students and, in some cases, professionals.
 
“This research is a great example of the 4-H model that centers on youth choice supported by caring, adult mentors," Staker said. “Iowa 4-H is the youth development program of ISU Extension and Outreach and the SSTFI experience is one of the largest 4-H learning communities in Iowa."
 
More than 80 students from more than 70 schools competed for prizes, awards and scholarships valued at over $50,000. A select few will attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Ariz., and others will display their projects at the National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis, Ind.
 
The following scholarships and awards were granted.
 
Iowa Biotechnology Association Scholarship

  • Mason Burlage, Beckman Catholic High School
  • Cheryl Blackmer, Ballard High School
  • Pearl Krieger Coble, Winfield-Mt. Union High School
  • Aaron Wills, Central Lee High School
  • Helen Hu, Ames High School

Iowa Space Grant Consortium: Aaron Wills, Central Lee High School
 
Grand Honorable Mentions

  • Morgan Kelly, Algona Middle School
  • Temple Landry, Merrill Middle School
  • Carl Tubbs, Merrill Middle School

Reserve Champion: Nikhil Wagher, Rivermont Collegiate
 
Champion: Aaron Wills, Central Lee High School
 
Grand Champion: Cheryl Blackmer, Ballard High School
 
Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Trip Award, Student Observer

  • Shristi Sharma, Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment
  • Estherine Ninkunda, North High School
  • Barinua Godpower, North High School

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Trip Award

  • Cheryl Blackmer, Ballard High School
  • Bailey Beckman, Danville High School
  • Amy Cyr and Sarah Arbuckle, Ames High School
  • Abby Wittkamp and Sara Dodge, Burlington Community High School
  • Nikhil Wagher, Rivermont Collegiate

“Clay” Groff Memorial Traveling Trophy: Beckman Catholic High School
 
Discovery in Science Award

  • Colton Ketcham, Danville High School
  • Tyler Hill, West Central Valley
  • Soren Cleveland, Grundy Center Middle School
  • Olivia Tennant, Central Lee Middle School

Horizon Award

  • EmmaKay McClain, Clay Central Everly Junior Senior High School
  • Rachel Haupt, Timothy Christian School

Independent Researcher Award: Ella Hommel, Grundy Center Middle School
 
InFORM Award

  • Jose Rodriguez Campos and Lizzie Mora Huber, Hoover High School
  • Katie Tschirren and Katie Johnson, Prairie Ridge Middle School

 
Best Food Science and Human Nutrition Junior Project: Jasmine Padget, Van Buren High School
 
Iowa State University Program for Women in Science and Engineering

  • Madeline Black, Pekin Middle School
  • Kaylie Watson and Kaelan Swainey, Keokuk Middle School
  • Olivia Tennant, Central Lee Middle School
  • Dalin Kitchen, Cresco Junior High School

Outstanding Botany Award

  • R Holvoet, Holy Trinity Jr-Sr High
  • Katie Gu and Leslie Kim, Ames Middle School
  • Hunter Thilges, Algona Middle School

 
Excellence in Science Related to Biology

  • Morgan Kelly, Algona Middle School
  • Avary Bartholomew, Van Buren High School

 
4-H Excellence in Communication

  • Macy Watkins, Central Lee Middle School
  • Kennedy Kelly, West Hancock Middle School

 
Schneider Seed and Cattle Corporation Agricultural Excellence Award

  • Conner Gehling, Holy Trinity Jr-Sr High
  • Brady Van Meeteren, Sheldon Middle School

 
American Psychological Association

  • Isabel Naderman and Bianca Schleuger, Brody Middle School
  • Oliva Proctor and Rhiannon Brown, Hoover High School

 
Association for Women Geoscientists

  • Pooja Kasiviswanathan, Ames High School
  • Olivia Tennant, Central Lee Middle School

 
NASA Earth Systems Science Award

  • McKenna Caviness and Shea Scott, Van Buren High School
  • Chiara Travesset, Ames High School

 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

  • Ali McDermott, Guthrie Center High School
  • Juniper Strickland, Holy Trinity Jr-Sr High

 
Ricoh Americas Corporation

  • Brady Van Meeteren, Sheldon Middle School
  • Vanessa Hupp, Central Lee High School

 
US Metric Association

  • David Turner, Des Moines Central Campus
  • Christina Fjeld and Brianna Cannoy, Sheldon Middle School

 
Iowa Water Environment Association Champion: Macy Watkins, Central Lee Middle School
 
Junior High Reserve Champion: Nathan Davidson and Cohyn Jury, Van Buren High School
 
Junior High Champion: Amara Orth, Lewis Central Middle School
 
Junior High Grand Champion: Laney Rafdal, Sari White and Hayden Scheffert, Prairie Ridge Middle School
 
The State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa is a critical scientific experience for Iowa youth, who compete for prizes, awards and scholarships valued at more than $50,000.
 
About the Authors:

Jay Staker

4-H Youth Development
515-294-8417
jstaker@iastate.edu
 
Andrea Spencer
4-H Youth Program Specialist
515-294-5738
aspence@iastate.edu 

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