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The 56th Colorado Science and Engineering Fair was held at Lory Student Center on the Colorado State University campus on April 7 - 9, 2011.

This year, CSEF winners were chosen from among 277 projects represented by 308 finalists from 109 schools and 13 regions within the state. Abstracts for all projects can be read here. More than 140 professional scientists, engineers and mathematicians interviewed the students and evaluated their projects before selecting the Grand Award winners. In addition, over 60 businesses, professional societies, and government agencies provided more than 150 of their own representatives to judge exhibits based on their own criteria. They judged the student finalists and conferred Special Awards which represented an aspect of the bestowing organization. These included college scholarships, offers of summer employment, field trips, cash, savings bonds, and calculators. Over 1,000 people attended the Awards Ceremony this year.

Scholarships from Adams State College (ASC), Colorado School of Mines (CSM), Colorado State University (CSU) and Fort Lewis College(FLC) were also presented. Adams State College awarded fourteen one-year full resident tuition and fees scholarships. The Colorado School of Mines awarded five $1,000 renewable tuition scholarships. Colorado State University awarded twelve $1,000 renewable tuition scholarships to each of the 1st place senior division category winners. The College of Natural Sciences at CSU also awarded three $1,000 tuition scholarships to each of the Senior Division Best Individual Project award winners. The Colorado Science and Engineering Fair also awarded a $2,000 scholarship to a twelfth grader in the name of Ryan Patterson (Intel ISEF top winner in 2001) for use at the college or university of their choice. And Penny Propst awarded a Medicine & Health Scholarship to a deserving individual in the Medicine & Health category as well as two Moving Science Forward Scholarships the top two Best Individual Project winners.

The 2011 Colorado Science and Engineering Fair had 24 sponsors. Sponsors included 14 Platinum Sponsors (providing over $2,500 of support), 3 Gold Sponsors ($1,000 - $2,500 of support each), and 8 Regular Sponsors ($500 - $750 of support each). In addition, there were 20 Financial Contributors (less than $500 each). Persons interested in supporting the CSEF financially should view the sponsorship/contributor guidelines.

This year, the CSEF was honored to have guest speaker, Dr. Temple Grandin, Professor of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University.


Dr. Temple Grandin was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Temple’s achievements are remarkable because she was an autistic child. At the age two, she had no speech and all the signs of severe autism. Fortunately, her mother defied the advice of the doctors and kept her out of an institution. Many hours of speech therapy, and intensive teaching enabled Temple to learn speech. As a teenager, life was hard with constant teasing. Mentoring by her high school science teacher and her aunt on her ranch in Arizona motivated Temple to study and pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer.

Dr. Temple Grandin obtained her BA at Franklin Pierce College in 1970. In 1974 she was employed as Livestock Editor for the Arizona Farmer Ranchman and also worked for Corral Industries on equipment design. In 1975 she earned her MS in Animal Science at Arizona State University for her work on the behavior of cattle in different squeeze chutes. Dr. Grandin was awarded her PhD in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989.

Following her PhD research on the effect of environmental enrichment on the behavior of pigs, Dr. Grandin has published several hundred industry publications, book chapters and technical papers on animal handling plus 45 refereed journal articles in addition to seven books. She is currently a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University where she continues her research while teaching courses on livestock handling and facility design. Her book, Animals in Translation was a New York Times best seller and her book Livestock Handling and Transport, now has a third edition which was published in 2007. Other popular books authored by Dr. Grandin include Thinking in Pictures, Emergence Labeled Autistic, Animals Make us Human, Improving Animal Welfare: A Practical Approach, and The Way I See It.


The top two individual Senior Division project exhibitors won an all-expense paid trip to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, CA May 8 - 13, 2011. First place went to Sara Volz, Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs, grade 10, for the project Enhancing Algae Biofuels Phase II: Stress Analysis of ACCase, an Enzymatic Factor of Lipid Production. Second place went to John Parish IV, home schooled in Colorado Springs, grade 11, for the project On the Verge of Where It Wasn't: A Multi-Model Approach to Estimation and Tracking Using Extended Kalman Filtering and Intelligent Selection of Integrated Models. The first place Senior Division team project was Dylon Merrell and Charley Adams, Meeker High School in Meeker, grade 12, for the project Quantum Entanglement. Awarded third place for best individual project and winner of an all-expense paid trip to observe at the Intel ISEF was Kerry Betz, Fairview High School in Boulder, grade 12, for the project Constructing a Novel Cage Molecule for Use in a Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell.

The winners of the Ralph F. Desch Memorial Technical Writing Award were Boyu Wang, Yichen Liu & Stephan Liu from Lakewood High School in Lakewood, grade 11, for the project Self-Sustained Desalination in Combination with Wastewater Treatment.

The winner of the Senior Division Student Choice Award was Andrew Bartolo, Swink High School in Swink, grade 11, for the project Variable Voltages: An Experiment on the Viability of Overclocking. The Junior Division Student Choice winner was Johann Kailey-Steiner, Grant Bacon Middle School in Denver, grade 6, for the project Rocket Design: How Changing Rocket Features Affects the Height of a Rocket's Flight.

The winner of the Poster Art Contest was Jidapa Cang-in, Fleming High School in Fleming.

The winners of the Pioneers of Science Awards were:
Jessicah Wellman, Pagosa Springs Junior High School in Pagosa Springs, grade 7, for the project Coronal Mass Ejections;
Hannah Looman, Miller Middle School in Durango, grade 6, for the project Eyed Strides;
Breanna Tramp, Merino Jr/Sr High School in Merino, grade 7 for the project The Cube of Shame: The Use of Algorithms to Change a Rubik's Cube;
Ellie Mackintosh, Good Shepard Catholic School in Denver, grade 6, for the project Save Face;
Alexander Crane, St. John the Evangelist Catholic School in Loveland, grade 7, for the project Storing Energy in Rubber Bands;
Reyna Ramirez and Kyra Vasquez, Pueblo School for the Arts and Sciences in Pueblo, grade 8, for the project Banoratoria;
Katelynn Moore, Alta Vista Charter School in Lamar, grade 6, for the project Don't Double Dip That Chip;
Samuel Allsup, Cortez Middle School in Cortez, grade 6, for the project Compelling Compost;
Max Clark, Eagle County Charter Academy in Wolcott, grade 6, for the project Math + Music: Doe It Really Keep You on Track?;
Montana Cook, Walsh Junior High School in Walsh, grade 7, for the project One Fabulous Burger;
Camron Ozanic, Dolores Middle School in Dolores, grade 6, for the project Blast Off;
Mitchell Fosdick, Fowler Elementary School in Fowler, grade 6, for the project Capturing the Energy;
Wyeth Rossi, Miller Middle School in Durango, grade 6, for the project Putting the Cap on Pollution; and
Helen Duran, Sargent Junior High School in Monte Vista, grade 8, for the project First Born, First Serve.

The winner of the CSEF Teacher of the Year Award was Daniel Newmyer of Center High School in Center. Mr. Newmyer received a $3,000 grant to use towards scientific research in his classroom and school.

The 1st and 2nd place Junior Division category winners were nominated for the Broadcom MASTERS middle school competition. This year, 10 Colorado students were named as Semi-Finalists.

See the complete list of CSEF Grand Award winners, Special Award winners, and Scholarship winners or print an official 2011 Press Release.

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Last modified 10/25/16