UALR Hosts Central Arkansas Science Fairs

UALR’s College of Science and Mathematics will host three regional science fairs Friday March 2, offering competition for both middle and high school students at the Central Arkansas Regional Science and Engineering Fair, the Junior Academy of Science Central Arkansas Regional Fair, and the American Chemical Society Chemistry Olympiad.

The CARSEF and the Junior Academy of Science fairs will be day-long competitions held from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Friday, March 2, in the Donaghey Student Center.

That same day, the Olympiad will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. in the UALR Science Lab Building Room 280. See more information about each science fair competition below.

Central Arkansas Regional Science and Engineering Fair

Public, private, and home-schooled students from the counties of Cleburne, Conway, Faulkner, Lonoke, Monroe, Perry, Pope, Prairie, Pulaski, Van Buren, White, Woodruff, and Yell are eligible for the CARSEF’s two levels of competition. The junior division is open to students in grades five to nine. The senior division is open to students in grades nine to 12.

“Large, urban schools should have a school science fair and select category winners prior to registering students for CARSEF and each is invited to bring their first, second, third, and honorable mention winners in each category from their school fair,” said Keith Harris, fair director and research associate in UALR’s Department of Teacher Education.

“For students from a small school that do not have lots of participation in a science fair, a school fair is not required. We want to encourage the small schools from our rural counties to participate and bring as many students as they can to CARSEF,” said Harris.

The CARSEF event will accept projects in international science and engineering fair categories. For more competition information, go to the CARSEF website.

Junior Academy of Science Central Arkansas Regional Fair

The Junior Academy of Science offers separate junior and senior divisions for students in Conway, Faulkner, Logan, Lonoke, Monroe, Perry, Pope, Prairie, Pulaski, and Yell counties.

“We encourage participation by all schools, both public and private, in these counties,” said Junior Academy of Science Director Marian Douglas, an instructor in UALR’s Department of Chemistry. “To participate in the Central Arkansas Regional Fair, students must have won first, second, or third place at the local level.”

Categories for the competition include behavioral and social sciences, biochemistry, botany, chemistry, computer science, earth and space science, engineering, environmental science, mathematics, medicine and health, microbiology, physics, and zoology.

Information about entry fees and application forms can be found on the competition website.

American Chemical Society Chemistry Olympiad

Douglas, local section coordinator of the Chemistry Olympiad, said any high school chemistry student in the central Arkansas region can compete in the contest by being nominated by a high school chemistry teacher.

The top 10 students selected will return to UALR in April to take the national exam to qualify for the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad team. The team will compete in the 44th International Chemistry Olympiad in Washington, D.C., July 21 to 30.

The IChO involves a series of theoretical exams, laboratory exercises, and other activities aimed at identifying the best chemistry students from nations around the world. The U.S. has participated in the event since 1984.

The local competition is sponsored by the Central Arkansas Section of the American Chemical Society, a chapter of the American Chemical Society. Founded in 1876 and chartered by Congress, the ACS is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to the advancement of chemistry in the public interest. The Central Arkansas Section is one of 189 across the nation serving more than 160,000 members.

For more information about the Olympiad, contact Marian Douglas or call 501-569-8826.

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