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2012 COLORADO SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING FAIR

The 57th Colorado Science and Engineering Fair was held at Lory Student Center on the Colorado State University campus on April 5 - 7. 2012.

This year, CSEF winners were chosen from among 277 projects represented by 313 finalists from 103 schools and 13 regions within the state. 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, and savings bonds. 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 who were eligible. 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. Fort Lewis College awarded six $1,500 renewable scholarships. 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.

The 2012 Colorado Science and Engineering Fair had 21 sponsors. Sponsors included 12 Platinum Sponsors (providing over $2,500 of support), 2 Gold Sponsors ($1,000 - $2,500 of support each), 1 Silver Sponsor ($500 - $750 of support) and 6 Regular Sponsors ($500 - $750 of support each). In addition, there were 15 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 a presenter from the Technology Transfer Office at CSU Ventures speak on intellectual property.

Intellectual property (IP) consists of several different legal mechanisms for protecting the fruits of academic and commercial research and development, including patents and copy rights. This presentation covered the basics of IP, including specific items that researchers and engineers should be aware of (even before engaging attorneys or notifying in-house counsel). Some attention was given to licenses and other legal agreements that are used to manage IP. Students seeking both industry and academic careers found the information valuable, as familiarity with IP is often a part of the required skill set for research and management positions.

Patents provide rights for up to 20 years for inventions in three broad categories:

  • Utility patents protect useful processes, machines, articles of manufacture, and compositions of matter. Some examples include fiber optics, computer hardware and medications.
  • Design patents guard the unauthorized use of new, original, and ornamental designs for articles of manufacture. The look of an athletic shoe, a bicycle helmet, the Star Wars characters are all protected by design patents.
  • Plant patents are the way we protect invented or discovered, asexually reproduced plant varieties. Hybrid tea roses, Silver Queen corn, and Better Boy tomatoes are all types of plant patents.

Trademarks protect words, names, symbols, sounds or colors that distinguish goods and services. Trademarks, unlike patents, can be renewed forever as long as they are being used in business. The roar of the MGM lion, the pink of the Owens-Corning insulation, and the shape of a Coca-Cola bottle are familiar trademarks.

Copyrights protect works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed. The Library of Congress registers copyrights which last the life of the author plus 50 years. Gone with the Wind (the book and the film), Beatles recordings, and video games are all works that are copyrighted.

Trade secrets are information that companies keep secrets to give them an advantage over other competitors. The formula for Coca-Cola is the most famous trade secret.


2012 COLORADO SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING FAIR TOP AWARDS

The top three Senior Division project exhibitors (individual or team) win a trip to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held in Pittsburgh, PA May 13 - 18, 2012. First place went to Sara Volz, Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs, grade 11, for the project Optimizing Algae Biofuels Artificial Selection & Nitrogen Stress as Methods to Induce Synthesis. Second place went to Lawrence Zhang, Fairview High School in Boulder, grade 10, for the project miRNA 205: Suppressing Inpp4b and Wnt5a Expression. Third place went to Easton LaChappelle, Mancos High School in Mancos, grade 10, for the project Fine Motor Skills Using EEG Technology and Biomechanical Prosthesis.

The winner of the Ralph F. Desch Memorial Technical Writing Award was Rahul Shankar from Rampart High School in Colorado Springs, grade 12, for the project Assembling a Dextran-Based Nanoparticle Platform for Uptake by Cancerous Cells.

The winner of the Senior Division Student Choice Award was Easton LaChappelle, Mancos High School in Mancos, grade 10, for the project Fine Motor Skills Using EEG Technology and Biomechanical Prosthesis. The Junior Division Student Choice winner was Mitchell Fosdick, Fowler Junior High School in Fowler, grade 7, for the project Hydrogen: The Clean Energy of Today.

The winner of the Poster Art Contest was Alison Weinberger, Cherry Creek Challenge School in Denver.

The winners of the Pioneers of Science Awards were:
Josie Sitton, Cortez Middle School in Cortez, grade 6, for the project Time and Temperature of Wood;
Zander Graham, Quest Academy in Dacono, grade 7, for the project Spectroscopy;
Sean Flatten, Centennial Middle School in Montrose, grade 7 for the project Mice, Mazes and Music!;
Avi Swartz, Cherry Creek Challenge School in Denver, grade 7, for the project One Out of 400 Choose 100;
Nicole Whitehead, North Middle School in Colorado Springs, grade 8, for the project The Aimless Fingerprint;
Luke Tyler, Eagle County Charter Academy in Edwards, grade 6, for the project Spin to Win;
Michael Stankiewicz, Cesar Chavez Academy in Pueblo, grade 6, for the project 5 Second Rule: Fact or Fiction;
Julia Ludwig, Lamar Middle School in Lamar, grade 8, for the project The Effect of Disinfectants on the Eradication of a Biofilm;
Thomas McCarthy, West Jefferson Middle School in Conifer, grade 7, for the project Vertiginous Vegetables: A Study of How Gravity Affects Root Development;
Journey Simmons, Stanley British Primary School in Denver, grade 8, for the project Buenas Noches! The Scientific Study of Conscious vs. Unconscious Learning of Spanish Vocabulary;
Zach Wilson, Walsh Elementary School in Walsh, grade 6, for the project Tip of the Iceberg: Lowering the Melting Point of Water;
Marika Basagoitia, Sargent Jr/Sr High School in Monte Vista, grade 8, for the project Brush Buster or Brush Busted?;
Roger Nakagawa, Hill Campus of Arts and Sciences in Denver, grade 6, for the project The Effect of Dimple Size on How Golf Balls Roll;
Sierra Kelly, Miller Middle School in Durango, grade 6, for the project Black Roof, White Roof, Which One Is the Right Roof?;
Rebecca Erickson, Blevins Middle School in Fort Collins, grade 7, for the project Got Oil?;
Bethany Levy, Cortez Middle School in Cortez, grade 8, for the project Operation Meditation.

The winner of the CSEF Teacher of the Year Award was Dave Miner of Brush High School in Brush. Mr. Miner received a $3,000 grant to use towards scientific research in his classroom and school. Mr. Miner also received a scholarship to attend a 2-day Introduction to Microcontrollers for Educators class ($300 value) from SparkFun Electronics.

The other nominees for the Teacher of the Year Award received a scholarship to attend a 1-day Intro to Arduino class ($125 value) from SparkFun Electronics. The nominees included William Mallory, Genoa-Hugo School; Loree' Harvey, Monte Vista Middle School; Diego Martinez, Center High School; and Terri Paulson, Sargent Jr/Sr High School.

The 1st and 2nd place Junior Division category winners were nominated for the Broadcom MASTERS middle school competition. This year, 7 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 2012 Press Release.

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Last modified 6/28/12