Colorado State Science Fair, Inc.

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The 61st Colorado Science and Engineering Fair was held at Lory Student Center on the Colorado State University campus on April 7 - 9, 2016.

This year, CSEF winners were chosen from among 332 projects represented by 328 finalists from 126 schools and 13 regions within the state. More than 200 professional scientists, engineers and mathematicians interviewed the students and evaluated their projects before selecting the Grand Award winners. In addition, over 80 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 1,200 people attended the Awards Ceremony this year.

Scholarships from Adams State University,Colorado College, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University-Fort Collins, Colorado State University-Pueblo, and University of Colorado, Boulder were also presented. Adams State University awarded fourteen one-year full resident tuition and fees scholarships. Colorado College awarded 46 $500 merit scholarships for each of the 1st through 4th place category winners to attend CC this summer as a pre-college student. The Colorado School of Mines awarded eight $1,000 renewable tuition scholarships. Colorado State University awarded eleven $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 four $1,000 tuition scholarships to each of the Senior Division CSEF Best Project award winners. Colorado State University, Pueblo awarded one $1,000 tuition scholarship. The University of Colorado, Boulder awarded three $500 renewable scholarships and five $1,000 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 2016 Colorado Science and Engineering Fair had 25 sponsors. Sponsors included 4 Diamond Sponsors (providing over $10,000), 3 Platinum Sponsors (providing between $5,000 - $9,999), 2 Gold Sponsors (providing between $2,500 - $4,999), 5 Silver Sponsor (providing between $1,000 - $2,499), 1 Bronze Sponsor (providing between $500 - $749), and 10 Copper Sponsors (providing between $500 - $749). In addition, there were 10 company contributors (less than $500 each) and 18 individual contributors. Persons interested in supporting the CSEF financially should view the sponsorship/contributor guidelines.

This year, the CSEF was honored to have Dr. Joel Parker, Co-Investigator, New Horizons Mission to Pluto & Deputy Principle Investigator of NASA's Alice instrument on Rosetta (the ESA spacecraft currently orbiting Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko) as the guest speaker.

The Rosetta and New Horizons Missions

In the past couple of years, two of the most challenging and inspiring space missions ever flown reached their targets: New Horizons flew by Pluto, and Rosetta rendezvoused with a comet and deployed a lander. Both of these missions used technologies and mission designs unlike anything that had been done before. Scientists have studied comets and Pluto for decades, but that still did not prepare us for what we found when our spacecraft arrived at these worlds. The data returned from these missions have given us not only new insights about the particular objects they observed, but are providing us with valuable information about the history of our solar system how it formed, evolved and provided the ingredients for life. In this talk, I will present some of the results and stunning images from both missions, as well as discuss my first-hand experience of what is involved in building, flying and commanding such complex projects.

Dr. Joel Parker is a Director in the Boulder office of Southwest Research Institute. He has B.A. degrees in Physics and Astrophysics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He worked at NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center studying hot, massive stars in neighboring galaxies using observations from ground-based observatories around the world as well as the Hubble Space Telescope, the International Ultraviolet Explorer spacecraft, and the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope that flew aboard the Space Shuttle. When he moved back to Boulder in 1992 Dr. Parker began working more on studies of solar system objects such as comets, the Moon, asteroids, and Kuiper belt objects. He is the Deputy Principal Investigator for the Alice ultraviolet spectrograph instrument on the Rosetta mission and a co-investigator on the New Horizons mission to Pluto. He previously was the project manager for a similar ultraviolet spectrograph on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission. He is editor of the "Distant EKOs: The Kuiper Belt Electronic Newsletter", is a musician and actor, and can regularly be heard Tuesday mornings on the science show “How on Earth” on radio station KGNU in the Boulder/Denver area.


The top four Senior Division project exhibitors (individual or team) win a trip to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held in Phoenix, AZ May 8 - 13, 2016. First place went to Isani Singh, Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, grade 10, for the project Studying the Effects of a Missing X Chromosome on the Liver. Second place went to Joyce Xu, Fairview High School in Boulder, grade 11, for the project Predictive Modeling of Optimal Cancer Therapies. Third place went to Rebecca Bloomfield, Palmer High School in Colorado Springs, grade 11, for the project GASP!: Growth Advantage in Stationary Phase in Acinetobacter baylyi. Fourth place went to Trevor Jordan, Animas High School in Durango, grade 12, for the project A Wing of the Future, Part III.

The winner of the Ralph Desch Memorial Technical Writing Award was Laura Fleming from Fairview High School in Boulder, grade 12, for the project Valvular Interstitial Cell Activation in Response to Pro-Inflammatory Cytokine Treatment.

The winner of the Elemer Bernath Technical Writing Award was Sophie Reeves from Summit Charter Middle School in Boulder, grade 8, for the project The Relationship between Cloud Chambers, Alpha Particles, Radon-22 and Different Floors of a House.

The winner of the Senior Division Student Choice Award was Marguerite Schueler, grade 10 from Palmer High School in Colorado Springs, for the project Pick a Color Any Color: The Influence Negative Experiences Have on Unconscious Decisions. The Junior Division Student Choice winner was Kathryn Kummel, grade 7 from North Middle School in Colorado Springs, for the project All Spruced Up: The Causes and Consequences of Spruce Invasion into Aspen Canopies.

The winner of the Poster Art Contest was Alyssa Keirn, Blevins Middle School in Fort Collins.

The winners of the Pioneers of Science Awards were:
Sarah Nehring, Monte Vista Middle School in Monte Vista, grade 6, for the project Do the Shuffle;
Wayttyn Wollert, Wiley Jr/Sr High School in Wiley, grade 6, for the project Is That Smile Golden?;
Brooks Reed, Vail Mountain School in Vail, grade 7 for the project Force and Pressure;
Kate Zerefos, Monument Academy in Monument, grade 6, for the project How Do Tsunamis Affect the Surrounding Area?;
Teegan Oatley, Flagstaff Academy in Longmont, grade 8, for the project Hydroelectric Phone Charger;
Sam Duarte, Quest Academy in Dacono, grade 8, for the project The Perils of Practice: Noise Dosimetry, Pipers, Earplugs and Noise Induced Hearing Loss?;
Audrey Gulig, Monument Academy in Monument, grade 8, for the project Concussion Protection, Part 2;
Riley Ruff, North Arvada Middle School in Arvada, grade 8, for the project Pond-er This;
Aiden Quayle, Miller Middle School in Durango, grade 7, for the project Coffee Cup Countdown;
Maddie Plank, Most Precious Blood Catholic School in Denver, grade 8, for the project How Lemon, Chamomile, Honey and Sea Salt Lighten Hair;
Sena Uctuk, Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School in Fort Collins, grade 7, for the project Icy Coli?;
Kaydee Dodge, Craver Middle School in Colorado City, grade 7, for the project Pumpkin Preservation Part II: Jack-o'-lantern Preservation;
Ellie Schueler, North Middle School in Colorado Springs, grade 7, for the project Fiendish Football Fans: The Influence of a Football Team's Performance on Negativity Levels;
Lauren Weaber, Eaton Middle School in Eaton, grade 8, for the project Is the Grass Greener on the Other End of the Horse?;
Tommy Pope, St. Columba Catholic School in Durango, grade 6, for the project Healthier Water: A Study of Water Filtration Using Natural Materials;
Grace Fuselier & Meredith Neid, Stanley British Primary School in Denver, grade 8, for the project A Faulty Work World;
Collin Farley, Abner Baker Central School in Fort Morgan, grade 6, for the project Attraction Action; and
Makenzy Dreher, Frontier Academy Secondary School in Greeley, grade 7, for the project Butterflies: Hot & Cold - Study How Temperature Variations Affect the Metamorphosis of Cynthia Vaness.

The winner of the CSEF Teacher of the Year Award was Linda Niccoli of Liberty School in Joes. Mrs. Niccoli received a $3,000 grant to use towards scientific research in her classroom and school. Mrs. Niccoli also received an Inventor's Kit from SparkFun Electronics.

The other nominee for the Teacher of the Year Award also received an Inventor's Kit from SparkFun Electronics. The nominee was John Wiley from Challenge School in Denver.

The 1st and 2nd place Junior Division category winners were nominated for the Broadcom MASTERS middle school competition. This year, 9 Colorado students were named as Semi-Finalists and Emhyr Subramanian was chosen as a Finalist to attend the Broadcom MASTERS competition in Washington, DC in October.

See the complete list of CSEF Grand Award winners, Special Award winners, and Scholarship winners or print an official 2016 Press Release.

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Last modified 10/25/16