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New Mexico State University

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NMSU hosts science and engineering fair

Regional junior and high school students in grades six to 12 will have the opportunity to showcase their science, engineering or mathematics projects, and compete for prizes during the 2012 Southwestern New Mexico Regional Science and Engineering Fair at New Mexico State University. Registration is underway for the all-day event beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 3, in the Corbett Center ballroom.



Avis James, a biology educator at NMSU and one of the organizers of the 2012 Southwestern New Mexico Regional Science and Engineering Fair, seen here at White Sands Missile Range. NMSU is sponsoring the science and engineering fair at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 3, in the Corbett Center ballroom.

The judging will take place from 8 a.m. to noon and a public open house is scheduled from 1-2 p.m. Awards will be presented later that day in a ceremony from 6:30-8 p.m.

"Science fairs give our youth the opportunity to be creative and express their interest in science and engineering projects," said Avis James, a biology educator at NMSU and one of the organizers of the fair. "Students that compete in the Science and Engineering Fair learn skills that make them successful in other aspects of life."

Forty-five students from Saturday's competition will go on to compete at the state level, which will be held March 30-31, in Socorro, N.M. From the state competition, three upper-level students will advance to the international competition May 13-18, in Pittsburgh.

"The fair opens opportunities for the students that participate. Noor Muhyi, a senior at Las Cruces High School enrolled in dual credit college courses at NMSU, went to the International Science and Engineering Fair with us last year. She was the only student from New Mexico to attend the White House Science Fair, and she met President Barack Obama earlier this month," James said. "Serina Pack, from Cliff High School, was invited from our fair and won a gold medal in the International Genius Olympiad in New York last year."

Sponsoring the event are NMSU's Office of the Vice President for Research, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Education and the Admission's Office. Also contributing is the University of New Mexico Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and the New Mexico Biotechnology and Biomedical Association.

Special awards will be donated by NMSU physics and geography departments, NMSU's Vertebrate Museum, the Mesilla Valley Audubon Society and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. Also contributing, the local chapters of the Entomology Society of America, Gamma Sigma Delta and TRAX International LLC.

"Our nation needs excellent scientists and engineers to meet the challenges of the 21st century," said Jeff Brown, associate dean for research in the College of Arts and Sciences at NMSU. "It is vital that we provide opportunities for students interested in science and engineering to explore those areas and to develop their own projects. The Southwestern Regional New Mexico Science and Engineering Fair will help hundreds of young students to pursue their interests, and in many cases these students will go on to fine careers in these fields."

For more information contact James at avis@nmsu.edu or visit NMSU's Regional Science and Engineering Fair website at http://scifair.nmsu.edu/index.html.