Meaty calories, acne cures and more: Dallas Regional Science & Engineering Fair awards 25 students for ingenuity, passion
March 8, 2017
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93 Coppell High School students stood inside the Centennial building in Fair Park in Dallas, with keen scientific aptitudes and 36” by 48” tri boards.
Plastered with information, the students’ projects showcased topics that they had spent the last seven months researching – from acne solutions to causes of neurological disorders and advanced automotives.
Outside the building, CHS GT Biology teacher Cathy Douglas waited, after having bid her students good luck. The Beal Bank Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair is an annual event for both her and the students who qualify from the District Science Fair at CHS.
“I’m so proud of them,” CHS science fair coordinator Douglas said. “They have worked tirelessly for the past seven months, in addition to all the coursework [in GT Biology].”
After winning first, second or third place in the district fair, the qualifying students prepared for the interviews and evaluation with judges that occurred from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Feb.25. For many, this appears an intimidating process, but allowed the students critical exposure in the field of their research.
“To us, it wasn’t hard,” said freshman Leo Swaldi, who won honorable mention for his project, ‘Meaty Calories’, in the Health Sciences category. “We were pretty prepared, and knew our stuff right when they asked the questions.
“The people there, they are our future, so it was really cool to see that and talk to the judges, who were very intellectual too. I mean, the person next to me found an alternative cure to breast cancer or something, so that was crazy.”
For those students who intend to pursue the science field as a career, the opportunity to showcase their work to professionals in the field was an important experience. Some even received business cards or email addresses from judges and scheduled visits to their laboratories.
“It was pretty exciting to share your experience and work with professionals that are in the same field as you,” said sophomore Bhoomika Kumar, who won honorable mention for her project, ‘An Inhibitor of Terracin-C,’ in the Cellular & Molecular Biology category. “So it was more like you were discussing with them on your research.
“I’ve done this cancer research project, and I’ve been going to science fairs for a while now, so I definitely want to go into oncology. Cancer research is something I’m really interested [in] and passionate about, and [the Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair] gave me a platform to do that and carry on with my interest.”
After the judging took place, 29 awards were given to 25 CHS students for their projects.
“I think [the Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair] had a big impact,” Douglas said. “It’s powerful, the intelligence, the work ethic, the types of projects that were there for these kids to get exposed to. I thought it was an amazing experience. It’s going to set them on their path and continue them toward the goals they want to reach.”
The award banquet for winners of the Beal Bank Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair is March 22 at Southern Methodist University. Three students, sophomores Faizan Firdaus, Tom Vazehatt and Krithika Ravishankar, will advance to the ExxonMobil State Science Fair in San Antonio on March 31 and April 1.